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Momentus deploys Qosmosys satellite and starts full on-orbit support of Caltech-hosted payload

Momentus Inc., a US commercial space company that offers orbital transportation and in-space infrastructure services, has deployed the Qosmosys Zeus-1 payload from its Vigoride-5 Orbital Service Vehicle and is now providing comprehensive hosted payload support services for Caltech’s Space-based Solar Power Project payload.

The Qosmosys Zeus-1 payload was deployed in orbit on May 10, 2023. Effective May 15, 2023, Momentus is providing on-orbit support to Caltech, including providing data, communication, commanding and telemetry, and resources for optimal picture taking and solar cell lighting. Momentus will also be performing thrusting maneuvers so Caltech can measure the behavior of their experiments. Caltech’s Space Solar Power Demonstrator project onboard Momentus’ Vigoride-5 spacecraft comprises three separate experiments. The experiments are:

  • DOLCE (Deployable on-Orbit ultraLight Composite Experiment): A structure measuring 6 feet by 6 feet that demonstrates the architecture, packaging scheme and deployment mechanisms of the modular spacecraft that would eventually make up a kilometer-scale constellation forming a power station.

  • ALBA: A collection of 32 different types of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to enable an assessment of the types of cells that are the most effective in the punishing environment of space.

  • MAPLE (Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment): An array of flexible lightweight microwave power transmitters with precise timing control focusing the power selectively on two different receivers to demonstrate wireless power transmission at distance in space.

“We thank Caltech and Qosmosys for entrusting us with their important payloads,” said Momentus Vice President of Program Management Krishnan Anand. “With the Zeus-1 payload from Qosmosys safely in its orbit, our team is now dedicated to providing support for Caltech as they test technology that aims to collect solar power in space to use on Earth. Our contract has our team supporting this payload for six months and we look forward to seeing what Caltech learns from their experiments.”