ORLANDO, Fla. — In-space transportation company Momentus has postponed the next flight of its space tug and laid off a fifth of its staff to conserve its dwindling cash reserves.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Jan. 12, Momentus announced it did not plan to fly its next tug, Vigoride-7, on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 rideshare launch in March. The company said it called off the flight because of its “inability to support continuing operations for the expected launch date as a result of the Company’s limited liquidity and cash balance.”
The company said in November that it has signed up seven customers who planned to deploy satellites on Vigoride-7 and two other customers who would operate hosted payloads on the vehicle, but did not identify then. Momentus also intended to fly a rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration on the vehicle as part of its long-term plans for reusable tugs.
Momentus did not provide specifics about its limited liquidity. It reported having cash and equivalents of $9.7 million at the end of its fiscal third quarter Sept. 30. Momentus reported a net loss of $15.2 million in the quarter with revenue of $339,000. The company raised $11.85 million in gross proceeds in the fourth quarter through a series of stock transactions.
In addition to postponing the Vigoride-7 mission, Momentus said it laid off 20% of its full-time employees and contractors “to reduce its cash burn rate while retaining the talent it needs to execute on its key near-term initiatives.” The company laid off 30% of its staff late in the second quarter of 2023, also to cut costs.
Momentus also disclosed in its SEC filing that it also failed to win a Space Development Agency contract for Tranche 2 Tracking Layer satellites. It had submitted a proposal using a satellite bus it announced last year based on Vigoride.
Momentus said it is actively working to raise money but has yet to secure “definitive commitments” for additional funding. It has also talked with “multiple potential strategic partners” about a potential transaction, but without any agreements. It warned that its “ability to continue to fund operations for the next few weeks and months will be dependent on its ability to raise equity capital or engage in a strategic transaction.”
Momentus last launched its Vigoride tug in April 2023 on the Transporter-7 mission. That tug deployed a single cubesat and operated a hosted payload from the California Institute of Technology to test space-based solar power technologies.
The company launched five satellites on the Transporter-9 mission in November using a third-party deployer rather than its Vigoride tug. However, Momentus said Dec. 5 that it could only confirm the deployments of two of the satellites and believed the other three did not deploy.
Shares in Momentus were down 23% in trading Jan. 12. Its market cap had fallen to $6.3 million. Shortly after going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger in August 2021, the company has a market cap of more than $1 billion.