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Momentus Space

Momentus Space

Momentus is a YC Summer 2018 batch company developing the in-space rockets powered by water plasma engines and based in Santa Clara, CA

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Robotics
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Accelerator Batch
Edits on 26 Sep, 2018
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METs are plasma-based electrothermal devices that use JouleJoule heating of a partially ionized gas to heat un-ionized propellant which is then ejected through a converging-diverging nozzle to create thrust in the same manner as chemical rockets. The thruster body itself is a microwave resonant cavity that allows for microwave breakdown of virtually any gas-state propellant. Momentus is developing an MET system that uses water as the propellant in a highly localized region just upstream of the rocket throat. A combination of solar array power and batteries (depending on duty cycle) provides the energy necessary for operation. For their high power systems, the microwave power to drive the system is generated by magnetrons, which are the highest known efficiency means of producing radiation from electric power and are highly mature in the terrestrial food preparation and materials processing industries.

Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 26 Sep, 2018
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Key Design Fearutres of a Microvwave Electro-Thermal (MET) Thruster showing the TM011 Mode Field Patterna in the Resonant Cavity.
Key design features of a Microwave Electro-Thermal (MET) thruster showing the TM011 Mode Field Pattern in the Resonant Cavity.

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Specific impulse (frozen flow), fractional disassociation, and chamber enthalpy to jet efficiency versus temperature for water propellant.
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Specific impulse (frozen flow), fractional disassociation, and chamber enthalpy to jet efficiency versus temperature for water propellant .
S-band MET Thruster in the lab.
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S-band MET Thruster in the lab.

The above figure on the right shows an image of an S-Band (2.45 GHz) MET operating in the Momentus laboratory using water propellant at a power Level of 3 kW.

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Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 26 Sep, 2018
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Current Roadmap of Momentus Propulsion System and Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV)  Development, along with potential applications

Current roadmap of Momentus Propulsion System and Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) Development, along with potential applications.

Edits on 25 Sep, 2018
Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 25 Sep, 2018
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Propelling deep space flight with a new fuel source, Momentus prepares for liftoff

Jonathan Shieber

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Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 25 Sep, 2018
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Momentus Space

Momentus is a YC Summer 2018 batch company developing the in-space rockets powered by water plasma engines and based in Santa Clara, CA

Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 25 Sep, 2018
Edits made to:
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Momentus Space was founded by space entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich and his partner Lev Khasis in Santa Clara in 2017. Momentus was originally born out of discussions with satellite operators seeking more affordable space transportation. Momentus is developing in-space propulsion systems powered by microwave electro-thermal (MET) water plasma engines. Momentus Space is the first in-space transportation services company buildbuilt around high performance water plasma rocket propulsion. Momentus’ water plasma propulsions systems are use water which is cheap, non-toxic, and considered safe, and easy to work with. Water based propulsion could provide a path to breaking the ties of space industries to the Earth by allowing resupply from asteroids.

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Momentus Space is based on over 30 years of university research funded by NASA and the US Air Force. Momentus Space also has several new patent pending Momentus innovations. Momentus Space microwave electrothermal water propulsion systems use one third the propellant as chemical propulsion systems and delivers payloads three times faster than solar electric ion propulsion.

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METs are plasma-based electrothermal devices that use Joule heating of a partially ionized gas to heat un-ionized propellant which is then ejected through a converging-diverging nozzle to create thrust in the same manner as chemical rockets. The thruster body itself is a microwave resonant cavity that allows for microwave breakdown of virtually any gas-state propellant. Momentus is specifically developing an MET system that uses water as the propellant in a highly localized region just upstream of the rocket throat. A combination of solar array power and batteries (depending on duty cycle) provides the energy necessary for operation. For their high power systems, the microwave power to drive the system is generated by magnetrons, which are the highest known efficiency means of producing radiation from electric power and are highly mature in the terrestrial food preparation and materials processing industries.

Edits on 21 Sep, 2018
Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna approved a suggestion from Golden's AI on 21 Sep, 2018
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Momentus Space is based on over 30 years of university research funded by NASANASA and the US Air Force. Momentus Space also has several new patent pending Momentus innovations. Momentus Space microwave electrothermal water propulsion systems use one third the propellant as chemical propulsion systems and delivers payloads three times faster than solar electric ion propulsion.

Edits on 13 Sep, 2018
Carla Faraguna
Carla Faraguna edited on 13 Sep, 2018
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METs are plasma-based electrothermal devices that use Joule heating of a partially ionized gas to heat un-ionized propellant which is then ejected through a converging-diverging nozzle to create thrust in the same manner as chemical rockets. The thruster body itself is a microwave resonant cavity that allows for microwave breakdown of virtually any gas-state propellant. Momentus is specifically developing an MET system that uses water as the propellant in a highly localized region just upstream of the rocket throat. A combination of solar array power and batteries (depending on duty cycle) provides the energy necessary for operation. For thiertheir high power systems the microwave power to drive the system is generated by magnetrons, which are the highest efficiency means of producing radiation from electric power and are highly mature in the terrestrial food preparation and materials processing industries.

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Their expert analysis and review of extant literature suggests that at achievable temperatures, specific impulse can approach 1,000 s due to extremely high survivable bulk gas temperature and thermal dissociation of the water molecules to the atomic state. The following figure shows key design features of a Microwave ElectroThermal (MET) thruster showing the TM011 Mode Field Pattern in the resonant cavity. This cavity mode provides excellent power coupling and positions the discharge in an optimal location upstream of the nozzle.

Carla Faraguna"removed a few terms, updated working in a subsection"
Carla Faraguna edited on 13 Sep, 2018
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Founded by space entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich and his partner Lev Khasis in Santa Clara in 2017, Momentus was born out of countless discussions with satellite operators seeking more affordable in space transportation. Momentus is developing in-space propulsion systems powered by microwave electro-thermal (MET) water plasma engines. Momentus Space is the first in-space transportation services company build around high performance water plasma rocket propulsion. Momentus’ water plasma propulsions systems are more efficient and faster than the solutions of the past, but more important, they are far more affordable because water is cheap, non-toxic, safe, and easy to work with. Even more important in the the long term, water based propulsion is utterly future proof and provides a clear path to breaking the ties of space industries to the Earth by allowing easy resupply from the most plentiful resources of space, the asteroids for the time when asteroid mining emerges as a major new industry.

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Based on over 30 years of university research funded by NASA and the US Air Force enhanced by several new patent pending Momentus innovations, Momentus Space’ new microwave electrothermal water propulsion systems use as little as one third the propellant as chemical propulsion systems while delivering payloads as much as three times faster than old school solar electric ion propulsion.

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Previous academic research and their own in-house development efforts have shown that by carefully injecting the propellant gas with vortex inducing swirl, the gas discharge can be confined on centerline, where the microwave intensity is greatest, thereby inducing a strong radial profile in the gas temperature. Electron temperatures on centerline in the discharge can be as high as 15,000 to 20,000 Kelvin allowing heating of the centerline gas to several thousand Kelvin while the boundary layer temperature of the gas that is in contact with the thruster throat can be within the long life temperature constrains of refractory metals.

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Why Water?
Water as a propellant
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