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Momentus Unable to Confirm 3 Customer Deployments from Transporter-9 Mission 

By Rachel Jewett | December 6, 2023

      SpaceX Transporter-9 rideshare launch on Nov. 11, 2023. Photo: SpaceX

      Momentus said it is unable to confirm the deployment of three out of five satellites launched on the recent SpaceX Transporter-9 mission in November. 

      Momentus used a third party deployer on this mission instead of its Vigoride orbital service vehicle. In an update published late Tuesday, Momentus confirmed the deployment of two satellites for Hello Space. The company could not confirm the status of three remaining satellites.

      The unconfirmed satellites are for SatRev, Korean company CONTEC Co., and Lunasonde, according to a previous mission update.  

      “Based on the results of a detailed investigation undertaken, the company does not believe those satellites were released from the third-party deployer system. Momentus appreciates and thanks SpaceX for its work and collaboration in providing information necessary to assist our ongoing investigation into the likely root cause of the issues encountered. Momentus has also been in regular communication with our customers,” the company said in a statement. 

      While Momentus offers the Vigoride orbital service vehicle, it has started to use a third party deployer as well on certain missions. The company does not specify the deployer system supplier. 

      CEO John Rood said in the company’s most recent earnings call that the deployer is used for customers that don’t require the full capabilities of a Vigoride vehicle. “This approach serves the needs of our customers who don’t require Delta-V or changes in velocity and position after release from the launch vehicle,” he said in November.  

      This is the second satellite SatRev has lost due to an issue related to launch. The company was also a customer on the failed Virgin Orbit mission from the U.K. earlier this year.

      Separately, Momentus announced Wednesday it signed a contract with CalgaryToSpace (CTS), a student team from Canada based in Calgary, Alberta, for transportation and orbital delivery services in 2025. Momentus will fly the CTS-SAT-1 scientific platform for the group.