Interview with Momentus VP Negar Feher – updates, news, and plans of the spacecraft bus operator
Andrey Maksimov: Here we are. Hi, Negar. It’s February 2020 now. Last time we were here more than 8 months ago, so it seems like a lot of things have changed. You had a technical mission last year, fundraised a crazy amount of money, grew your team and made some progress on your main product, which is Vigoride.
We would love to have an update from you into delivering orbital customers. We do it as part of our #knowyouroptions campaign where we basically are building software that helps people understand their launch options, and how to figure out a space mission. So, we’d really love to know what’s new in your shop here and what’s going on.
Modularity Space is developing low-cost modular reusable satellites that can be repaired, refueled, and upgraded in space, calling this innovative approach “Click-and-GO”. Scott Weintraub founded the company based in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2016. Inspired by desktop computers, Modularity Space satellites and flight software revolve around interoperability allowing both subsystems and payloads to simply click together and work.
“This “Click-and-GO” approach enables a completely mission flexible, hardware-agnostic, software-defined satellite,” says Nolan Coulter, Chief Technology Officer at Modularity Space. “Imagine being able to completely interface, test, and operate your payload or satellite with a simple click of a button.”
Bringing the “Click-and-GO” satellite into production is a team of engineers and entrepreneurs with an extensive background in on-orbit servicing, modular satellites, and flight software. In our new #knowyouroptions interview, Precious Payload spoke to Scott and Nolan about the advantages of the modular approach in satellite development.
Precious Payload is now a part of the first batch in the aerospace-themed Gothams Hub71 Accelerator in the UAE. The new program kicked off in the first week of October in Abu Dhabi. Our team was selected to join the cohort of 5 early-stage technology companies.
The unique combination of newly born innovative Abu Dhabi entrepreneurs environment and the opportunity to engage forward-looking companies creating cutting edge technologies seeks to develop Arabic Silicon Valley, a comfortable ecosystem that is to accelerate the economy of the region.
Last week Daria Ryzhkova, a CPO of Precious Payload, attended the UK Space Conference, the most important industry event in Great Britain. We put her insights and overall impression of the conference into one place.
Andrey Maksimov: We are continuing our conversations with great companies about big products in the industry. That’s another take from the Logan, Utah SmallSat show 2019. With me today is Doug Liddle from the In-Space Missions company based in the United Kingdom. We’re gonna talk about an alternative way to test your payloads in orbit and hopefully do it on a very good time scale and within the budget. So, Doug, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you come from, and then we can discuss the business.
In early September Precious Payload participated in Indian Technology Congress 2019. It was held in NIMHANS Convention Centre in Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, the center of the national high-tech industry. The congress focused on human digitalization and future intelligence and with a special theme on “The New Space Horizon: An Emerging Ecosystem for Student Built Satellites”.
Dozens of nanosatellites student teams took part in the event due to the 75 Student Satellites initiative of Indian Technology Congress Association (ITCA). ITCA has initiated an ambitious national student space project in collaboration with Indian and International tech-space organizations. The 75 Student Satellites Mission 2022 is designed to build and launch 75 spacecraft next 3 years to attract future scientists and engineers to the space sector.
Andrey Maksimov, CEO and co-founder of Precious Payload, appeared as a speaker at the event. He was talking about our online mission management service for young space teams. Here’s a video record of Precious Payload’s presentation:
With the support of Precious Payload’s launch booking and space mission management platform, Pixxel, an Indian space startup based in Bengaluru, has signed a launch contract with GK Launch Services, an operator of commercial launches of Soyuz-2 family launch vehicles. Under the agreement, the first tech demo mission of Pixxel to be launched in Q2-Q3 2020 from Baikonur spaceport on GK-operated Soyuz-2 rocket.
Pixxel is building a constellation of Earth imaging satellites to provide global coverage every 24 hours. The startup is the only Asian participant in the Techstars Starbust Space Accelerator where it is working with JPL NASA, US Air Force, Lockheed Martin, SAIC and IAI among other space stalwarts.
Andrey Maksimov: Today with us is Robert Bedington, CTO and co-founder of SpeQtral, a company based in Singapore, formerly known as S15 Space Systems. We continue our #knowyouroptions conversation with entrepreneurs working on amazing products. And today we’re at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.
SmallSat Conference in Utah is the best space event to align yourself with the industry, present the results for the year, or get new partners. The Precious Payload team shared a booth with our partners from Orbital Transports, met with customers, networked like there’s no tomorrow, and ran a side meeting.
We believe that the side meeting’s format is great for sharing what we’ve achieved during the last year, and gathering feedback and discussing new ideas with our colleagues. But one thing for sure, it was really hard to compete with all the other great side meetings and poster sessions that were happening all at the same time. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve decided to share the video of our side meeting with everyone who could not attend it for whatever reason: