Interview with Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus
At the beginning of the summer, we have had an amazing tour to Momentus facilities, a space tug factory in Silicon Valley. We continue our #knowyouroptions series to feature NewSpace entrepreneurs and inspire more people to join the space race with an interesting conversation with Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus. She has taken us on a tour, has introduced the team, and has given us a big #knowyouroptions interview.
In early June our partners, California-based startup Momentus, invited Precious Payload team to their factory. Momentus is a developing in-space shuttle service, using safe water-plasma propulsion technology, for taking satellites from where the rockets drop them off to a custom orbit. Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus, has taken us on a tour, has introduced the team, and has given us a big #knowyouroptions interview.
Why so many entrepreneurs are secretly dreaming about starting a business in space and so few are ending up with building a company? Our guess – wrong thinking ruins many of the great ideas: those who never tried to launch anything to space tend to think that industry barriers are still enormous, launch options are limited to direct injections and a few American, Indian and Russian launch vehicles exist. While the reality is blooming with options and opportunities.
This year marks our third SmallSat conference attendance as Precious Payload team. It is one of our favorite space industry get-togethers so we tend to prepare ahead. This week we are sharing a database of participants that we used to plan our meetings in Logan. The full version is available here: https://airtable.com/shrTIiQUTuJOnEHY6
We’ve created the #knowyouroptions series to feature NewSpace entrepreneurs and inspire more people to join the space race. This time our guest isAwais Ahmed from Pixxel, the former student whose team is currently preparing for the launch of the first in-house built EO satellite. The whole constellation is to come.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are the names that come to mind when words like ‘business’ and ‘space’ appear in the same sentence. Indeed, true space enthusiasts, and billionaires to that matter, have put their fortunes on the line to pursue their space dreams. Before them, only governments and established corporations could associate themselves with space industry.
What about now? Are hundreds of millions still required to cross the high entry barrier? Do you still need your government to support you in building a satellite? Is it still as hard as rocket science is?
Last month, GK Launch Services, a commercial launch service provider for a Russian Souyz-2 rocket, announced a new service – a launch price calculator for smallsats. The interface available for the users is not exactly new: for the past two years, most of the launch providers started accepting incoming requests online using the forms to collect the basic mission information like size of a satellite, orbit to reach, timeframe, etc.
Problem: They say you have to wait up to two years to get the right flight for your specific orbit 🤷♀️ 🤷♂️.
Solution: ION Carrier is a free-flying CubeSat dispenser capable of delivering satellites to higher altitudes, different orbits, and orbital planes. It is compatible with all the existing launch vehicles and extends current launchers capabilities. Hence you have a wider variety of launches to choose from!
A satellite is a very valuable asset. It is made to order, extremely fragile and a complex piece of engineering. It must endure the stresses of the launch and then must operate in an alien environment and cannot be fixed if something goes wrong. Therefore, obtaining specialist insurance cover from an insurer that has a deep understanding of the industry is essential for any commercial smallsat operator who is aiming to bring revenue in from its small satellites.
In a nutshell, there are two principal types of satellite insurance. The first is pre-launch and launch, which covers loss, damage or failure before, during or in the first year if the satellite’s operations – the most critical phases of the satellite’s life. If something does go wrong, it would be most likely to occur during these phases. During post-in-orbit testing, the chances of the satellite failing tend to fall significantly. Continue reading “Smallsat Insurance 101”