What a space startup Momentus Space

What a space startup Momentus Space

Today there is only one way to get into space as a tourist: an expedition to the ISS

Currently, the only service used for space tourism is a flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The flight itself takes about a day, the same is required for the return. A tourist usually spends eight days in orbit.

Space Adventures is the only company that has already sent tourists into space

Space Adventures is an American space tourism company. Since 2001, it has been cooperating with Roskosmos and jointly carries out flights with the help of Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the Russian Segment of the ISS.

Although the cost of the orbit tour was originally $ 20 million, the number of people wishing to see space is steadily growing, so in 2015 the price of the flight will be about 56 million. Duration - 7-10 days. The ship starts from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Seven lucky ones have already visited the ISS

And one of them - Charles Simonyi - twice. Since 2010, tourist activity has been suspended for some time, since due to the termination of the operation of American shuttles, there are no empty seats on Russian ships. However, the decision to conduct an experimental one-year flight to the ISS in 2015 freed up one seat for British singer Sarah Brightman.

As early as this year, the first tourists may be able to fly around the moon

Space Adventures has already started selling tours around the Moon. At the same time, representatives of the company report that there is no particular excitement so far. This is probably due to the cost of travel. ParabolicArc reports that at a meeting of representatives of private space companies, Space Adventures announced that it had found two clients willing to pay $ 150 million each to fly around the moon. The flight could take place in 2017 or 2018. It is worth noting that it was not possible to find confirmation of this information from other sources, and the company itself does not officially report anything about this either. In addition, it is unclear whether RSC Energia, which together with Space Adventures is selling seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, has free resources for the necessary modification of equipment, because now the company is modernizing the Soyuz spacecraft to the MS version and creating A new generation manned transport ship.

Space low-cost suborbital flight will be launched soon

Suborbital flights are considered as one of the options for business by several companies at once. The main difference between suborbital flights and all the others is its short duration and relative cheapness. The rocket is sent into space and rises to a height of about 100 kilometers above the Earth (where, as is commonly believed, space begins), and then immediately begins its descent. During this time, tourists can have time to look at the starry sky, not blurred by the stratosphere, see the bend of the earth's surface and spend about 6 minutes in zero gravity. It will cost about $ 200,000, and, apparently, the first lucky ones will go to look at the Earth through the window in a couple of years.

1. Today there is only one way to get into space as a tourist: an expedition to the ISS. Currently, the only service used for the purpose of space tourism is a flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The flight itself takes about a day, the same is required for the return. In orbit, the tourist conducts, how to rule

The Momentus Space startup was launched in 2017 in Santa Clara, California by businessman Mikhail Kokorich and First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Lev Khasis. This company is developing a service that will allow inexpensively delivering small satellites to separate orbits.

Nowadays small satellites are often sent into space not on a separate rocket, but simultaneously with heavy vehicles. As a rule, these are devices that are launched without a specific purpose, for example, student or research ones. This launch allows owners of small devices to save a lot. However, there is a downside: these satellites end up in the same orbit as the heavy satellites. This often leads to a reduction in their service life.

Momentus Space has developed a water-plasma engine. This is a "space tractor", which, after launching small satellites out of the atmosphere, will be able to drag them into separate orbits.

How much does a startup cost?

According to RBC, in November 2018, the company received $ 8.5 million in investments from American venture capital funds Prime Movers Lab, One Way Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures and Mexican Mountain Nazca. Momentus Space is also a member of the Y Combinator startup accelerator.

Preliminarily, the cost of delivering a satellite weighing less than 250 kg to the desired orbit using a "space tractor" is estimated at $ 1.2 million.

When will the development start?

In the first quarter of 2019, it is planned to test the technology in outer space. If successful, commercial launches will begin in 2020.

To test the development, Momentus Space equipment must be transported from the United States first to Germany, and then to Russia. This is due to the fact that it will be launched by a Soyuz carrier rocket from the territory of the Russian Federation. The company is now in the process of obtaining an export license. To expedite this process, she hired a firm to lobby for her interests in the United States.

What is known about the founders of the project?

Businessman Mikhail Kokorich studied physics at Novosibirsk State University, studied at the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, and graduated from the Stanford Executive Program. Prior to Momentus, he founded space companies Dauria Aerospace, Helios Wire and Astro Digital.

Dauria Aerospace, established in 2012, develops and manufactures new generation small spacecraft and components for them. In the same 2012, she won a Roscosmos contract for the assembly of two ultra-small spacecraft MKA-N worth 315 million rubles. However, three aircraft, which were developed by Dauria Aerospace, failed, after which the state corporation filed a lawsuit against the company.

Businessman Lev Khasis graduated from the aircraft engineering faculty of the Kuibyshev Aviation Institute named after Queen. He is a candidate of technical sciences and a doctor of economic sciences. In 2006-2011, he served as CEO of X5 Retail Group (develops Perekrestok and Pyaterochka chains), and in 2011-2013, senior vice president of Wal-Mart Stores. In his current position at Sberbank, he also oversees the work of the Technologies block.

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