SAN FRANCISCO – In-space transportation startup Momentus announced service agreements Oct. 2 with Australia’s Skykraft and French spacecraft engineering company Mecano ID.
Santa, Clara, California-based Momentus revealed plans to deploy a pathfinder for Skykraft’s microsatellite constellation on a Vigoride flight in June 2021. Momentus plans to send the Skykraft microsatellite into orbit via EOS, a separation ring developed by Mecano ID with funding from the French space agency CNES.
If successful, the June 2021 Skykraft flight will be the qualification flight for EOS, which “opens the door for commercialization,” according to the Oct. 2 news release.
Momentus plans to launch a second Skykraft microsatellite in late 2021 under the launch services agreement announced Oct. 2.
Skykraft, a spin-off of the University of New South Wales Canberra Space Programme, specializes in design, manufacturing and operations of small satellite constellations. The startup, founded in 2017, plans to establish a constellation of 210 satellites to begin offering global observation of aircraft at all altitudes in 2023.
Skykraft satellites feature deployable antennas and VHF communications.
Mecano ID’s EOS deployer is designed to be lightweight and to prevent satellites deployed from spinning, according to the news release.
In a related announcement, Airbus Defence and Space selected Mecano ID to support development of Teleo, an optical communications demonstration, on the BADR-8 geostationary communications satellite. Arabsat awarded Airbus a contract in August to build the satellite to provide C- and Ku-band coverage over Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.