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Momentus in trouble

January 15, 2024

Not everything in the space industry’s garden is in perfect shape. Space company Momentus once valued at over $1 billion, is running out of money and does not have a financial lifeline. On January 12th it postponed its next mission.

Momentus was established emerged with seed funding in November 2018 and was created to o offer space infrastructure services in the form of on-orbit services. The company advertises three orbital tug services (so called ‘Space Tugs’) which are based around spacecraft electric propulsion..

In 2020 Momentus was merged with a Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle (SPAC) and with a valuation of $1.2 billion.

As of late 2022 the company has launched one demonstration mission on a SpaceX rocket, which produced mixed results. The Space Tug’s solar panels failed to correctly deploy. Another demo mission, using its Vigoride-5 spacecraft, launched on the SpaceX Transporter-6 launch on January 3rd 2023. A flight during November 2023 used a third-party deployer rather than its own Vigoride tug. However, Momentus said December 5th 2023 that it could only confirm the deployments of two of the satellites and believed the other three did not deploy.

Momentus last week postponed its next planned mission (scheduled for March) and laid off about a fifth of its staff to conserve its dwindling cash reserves. It had carried out a 30 per cent cut in staff in Q2 last year.

Momentus, in the January 12th SEC filing confirmed it had failed to win a US Space Development Agency contract for a potential satellite development.

The SEC filing talked about the business “actively working” to raise more cash. Its financial position at the end of its Q3 on September 30th 2023 reported having cash and equivalents of $9.7 million and a net loss of $15.2 million in the quarter with revenue of just $339,000. The company raised $11.85 million in gross proceeds in Q4 through a series of stock transactions.

Its shares are depressed and the company now has a market capitalisation of just $5.3 million.

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