Startup Boosts Small Spacecraft’s Orbit By 1.86 Miles Using Water Propulsion

Momentus Space, a California-based startup recently released a press statement stating that the company has succeeded in raising the orbit of its Vigoride-5 spacecraft up to 1.86 miles by using a combination of microwaves, solar power, and water propulsion. The space firm-built Microwave Electrothermal Thruster (MET) which was integrated into the spacecraft for performing such a task.

The MET thruster uses distilled water as its propellant to perform numerous tasks during operation. Hence, the idea of propelling a spacecraft with water is one of the most recent ways to travel through space. Momentus Space is so focused on reaching greater heights with this unique method.

How the company successfully used a Water Propulsion system to raise the orbit of its Spacecraft by 3 Kilometers

On May 8, Momentus Space wrote a statement describing the most recent demonstration of its MET system. According to this statement, the firm revealed that the MET propulsion system has raised its Vigoride-5 orbital transfer vehicle to more than 1.86 miles (3 kilometers).

A Russian entrepreneur, Mikhail Kokorich founded Momentus Space in 2017 planning to offer commercial space tug services that lift satellites to their planned orbits once they reach space by rockets or other methods. This implies that the company is focusing on revolutionizing the way satellites operate in space by playing them in their various suitable orbits.

“This initial orbital raise was a key goal of our Vigoride-5 mission, and the MET’s performance has exceeded our expectations,” Momentus Chief Technology Officer Rob Schwarz explained in the statement. “Each ignition has been successful, and we’ve completed more than 35 firings ranging from 30 seconds up to six minutes in duration, which is what we plan to use operationally. Cumulatively, we have accomplished over 140 minutes of firing time of the MET system.”

What is the next plan for Momentus Space?

After accomplishing success with the MET system, Momentus Space is aiming for something huge. Rob Schwarz revealed that the company’s next plan will now focus on supporting commercial and U.S. Government customers with its latest technology. Momentus Space will be using its systems to offer more compelling, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective alternative services to traditional space tugs that rely on chemical propulsion systems.

In addition, the firm reveals that its MET system operates through a novel approach that uses solar-powered microwaves to generate hot plasma to heat its water propellant. Chris Kinman, the chief commercial officer of Momentus Space reveals that the MET system “can provide future missions with higher efficiency than chemical propulsion systems and higher thrust than electric propulsion systems.”

The company conducted its most recent demonstration using the third Virgoride vessel Momentum which reached space within a year. This means that we should be expecting the company to attain greater heights before the end of this decade.


Momentus Space successfully raised the orbit of its spacecraft by 1.86 miles using a water propulsion system which is greener and a more cost-effective alternative to traditional space tug. However, the firm is not the only agency working on cheaper space propulsion alternatives.

A Japanese company recently flew a nano-satellite using only water vapor propulsion. NASA also deployed similar technology alongside its Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator-1 space probe. While Momentus Space is not the only company working on this alternative propulsion system, the firm is still focusing on revolutionizing and boosting the orbits of small satellites in space. What do you think about this great innovation?

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