Momentus Inc, a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, announced an agreement with the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, and their Applications (CUAVA) for the transportation of the Waratah Seed WS-1 CubeSat to low-Earth orbit in October 2023.
The Waratah Seed WS-1 mission will carry payloads from the winners of a competition to support NSW-based Australian space start-up companies in demonstrating their technology in space and gaining spaceflight heritage. The Waratah Seed WS-1 mission will also carry commercial clients with the final manifest expected to be announced soon.
Momentus signed its first services agreement with CUAVA earlier this year to fly the CUAVA-2 CubeSat.
“We’re happy to continue to grow our relationship with CUAVA and support the Waratah Seed mission that provides space access to a new generation of innovators,” said Momentus Chief Executive Officer John Rood. “Space infrastructure services can enable expanded access to space and optimize the use of space, and we’re looking forward to supporting Australia’s first rideshare mission as it seeks to bring new ideas and technologies to the space economy.”
Waratah Seed is Australia's first rideshare mission, an Australian-built industry, and commercially focused CubeSat. Supported by the NSW Government through their Space Industry Development program, Waratah Seed's mission is to deliver a 6U CubeSat platform providing spaceflight opportunities in low-Earth orbit to test and prove function and capability.
The Waratah Seed Consortium is a partnership between CUAVA, centered at the University of Sydney, ACSER at the University of NSW, Saber Astronautics, Delta-V NewSpace Alliance, Macquarie University, and the University of Technology Sydney.
CUAVA is the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and their Applications, centered at the University of Sydney. CUAVA aims to fundamentally change the capabilities and applications of CubeSats to create major commercial value with wide applications.
"We are very excited to have signed two launch contracts with Momentus that will see both our rideshare satellite WS-1 and the CUAVA-2 CubeSat go into space in 2023,” said Director of Waratah Seed and CUAVA Professor Iver Cairns. “Working with Momentus has been very productive and enjoyable, despite the many challenges in developing a complex pilot project like the Waratah Seed."
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