Earlier this month, space industry-based startup Momentus had just reported the successful testing of its water plasma propulsion technology for its upcoming in-space transportation vehicle.
Water plasma propulsion is a technology that is primarily being developed by Momentus to demonstrate the potential maneuvering capabilities of its upcoming spacecraft, Vigorde. Water, as we know it, is abundant in space. It may usually be in the form of ice, but it can be directly harvested nonetheless. This means that any propulsion system that can efficiently use water, can power itself simply by having the necessary hardware to harvest it from any celestial body.
Earlier this September, the El Camino Real mission showed “real” promise for the technology when it successfully tested on-orbit, the propulsion technology on a 16-unit cubesat. Even much earlier, the test cubesat suffered from completely frozen propulsion lines, yet it was able to completely recover from it without much trouble or damage.
During the following months, the company intends to do even more orbital maneuvers, to further collect data on the technology. This is both to confirm the reliability of the technology, as well as presumably to find more technical tweaks that can be used to optimize the concept further.
Momentus is a startup company that was founded in 2017 by Mikhail Kokorich and Lev Khasis. Within the last two years, the company was able to secure $34 million in funding, which helped the company to ultimately make its first official test launch last July.
The mission statement of the company is to be able to use the latest breakthrough technologies in order to push the frontiers of space forward. To this end, the company has been focusing on its water propulsion technology, it’s key space-based propulsion system. This technology is pivotal for its future plans. But for now, it will help the company’s starting business goals of helping smaller “rideshared” satellites to move over to their optimal orbital positions.