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Momentus Reaches National Security Agreement, Co-Founders Divest from Company 

By Rachel Jewett | June 10, 2021

A rendering of Momentus’ Vigoride in-space shuttle. Photo: Momentus

Momentus has made a concrete step forward with a after a turbulent few months dealing with U.S. national security concerns with the business. The in-space transportation company announced Wednesday that it has signed a National Security Agreement (NSA) with the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of the Treasury on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). 

The company has faced national security concerns about the foreign ownership after it announced plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger in October of last year because of founding CEO Mikhail Kokorich and co-founder Lev Khasis, both Russian citizens. Kokorich stepped down in January

“Our co-founders are completely divested from the company as of today, helping to resolve a primary point of the government’s concern,” said Momentus CEO Dawn Harms. “The focus now shifts to efficiently implementing the NSA requirements and reinforcing our operational security.”

Now, Momentous will take steps required by the NSA, including increasing security measures, hiring oversight positions, and appointing a CFIUS-approved director to its board of directors to oversee compliance. A representative for the company was not able to provide further details on Thursday about specific requirements in the NSA. 

This agreement opens a path for Momentus to receive flight approval for its Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) previously denied the approval over national security concerns. It will likely assist the SPAC process, as Momentus has received an extension from SPAC shareholders, pushing the business combination deadline to August 13.