(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- ITEM 2. MOMENTUS' MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information which our management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our results of operations and financial condition. This discussion and analysis should be read together with our audited and unaudited financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (this "Form 10-Q"). This discussion and analysis should also be read together with our financial information for the period ended and as of June 30, 2022. In addition to historical financial information, this discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under the "Risk Factors" under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022, and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" elsewhere in this Form 10-Q, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
Certain figures, such as interest rates and other percentages, included in this section have been rounded for ease of presentation. Percentage figures included in this section have not in all cases been calculated on the basis of such rounded figures but on the basis of such amounts prior to rounding. For this reason, percentage amounts in this section may vary slightly from those obtained by performing the same calculations using the figures in our financial statements or in the associated text. Certain other amounts that appear in this section may similarly vary slightly due to rounding.
Momentus plans to offer transportation and infrastructure services to help enable the commercialization of space. Satellite operators are our principal customers and target customers. Services that we plan to provide include "last mile" satellite transportation, payload-hosting, on-orbit satellite refueling, on-orbit inspection, on-orbit satellite maintenance, de-orbiting, debris removal, and other satellite-to-satellite service offerings.
Our transportation service offering will focus on delivering our customers' satellites to precision orbits of their choosing. To accomplish this, we plan to create a hub-and-spoke transportation network in partnership with leading launch service providers, such as SpaceX. Under this model, our customers' satellites would "ride share" from Earth to space on a midsized or large rocket. Our Orbital Transfer Vehicles ("OTVs") would then provide "last mile" transportation services from the rocket's drop-off orbit to a custom orbit of the satellite operator's choosing. We believe our hub-and-spoke model has the potential to expand our customers' deployment options relative to what they would be able to achieve with ride share launch alone, while reducing their costs relative to what they could achieve with a dedicated small launch vehicle. Over time, we plan to begin introducing additional services beyond "last mile" transportation.
Since our founding in 2017, we have been working to develop, test and enhance our vehicles and supporting technologies, particularly our water plasma propulsion technology. We have signed contracts for approximately $55 million in backlog (potential revenue), as of July 31, 2022. These agreements contain firm orders as well as options, allowing customers to opt-in to launches on shorter notice without requiring a separate agreement. The breadth of these signed contracts spans across 22 companies in 16 countries. In general, our customers have the right to cancel their contracts with the understanding that they will forgo their deposits. If a customer cancels a contract before it is required to pay non-refundable deposits, we may not receive revenue from these orders, except for an initial deposit which is paid at the time the contract is signed. Refer to "Risk Factors - We may not be able to convert our orders in backlog into revenue," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
On May 25, 2022, the Company launched its first demonstration flight of the Vigoride spacecraft (Vigoride 3) to low-earth orbit aboard the SpaceX Transporter-5 mission. In addition to Vigoride, Momentus used a second port on the same SpaceX mission to fly a third-party deployer from a partner company. On May 25, 2022, Momentus used the third-party deployer to place its first customer satellite in orbit.
On May 26, 2022, upon establishing two-way contact between the Vigoride spacecraft in low-earth orbit and a ground station on Earth, Momentus discovered that the Vigoride spacecraft had experienced certain anomalies after its launch, primarily relating to its deployable solar arrays, which provide power to the spacecraft and its subsystems. Since that time, the Company has been working to address the anomalies, identify root causes and deploy customer satellites.
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The Company has determined that the Vigoride spacecraft's deployable solar arrays, which are produced by a third party, and are folded and stowed during launch, did not operate as intended once in orbit. This resulted in low power and communications issues with the spacecraft. Meanwhile, the spacecraft's fixed, body-mounted solar panels appear to be working as intended and are providing some power to the spacecraft. The Company has been working closely with the producer of the solar arrays and has identified a mechanical issue as the root cause of the deployable arrays not operating as intended. The Company also believes that it has identified the root cause of the anomalies that it experienced with other spacecraft systems during the low-power state.
On May 28, 2022, Momentus was able to deploy two customer satellites from Vigoride (of nine total customer satellites onboard Vigoride 3). Since that time, the Company has continued efforts to deploy other customer satellites, but did not confirm any subsequent deployments during the second quarter.
While Momentus initially established two-way communications with the Vigoride spacecraft, it has not been able to continue such two-way communication given the spacecraft's low-power state. Momentus has been using an unplanned frequency to work through the anomalies and applied for a 30-day Special Temporary Authority ("STA") from the FCC to properly comply with the FCC's radio frequency transmission requirements. On June 9, 2022 the Company received approval of a 30-day STA from the FCC as requested, which the FCC extended for an additional 30 days on July 13.
While Momentus has not been able to re-establish two-way communication with the Vigoride spacecraft, it has continued to broadcast commands to the spacecraft from ground stations on Earth, including commands to deploy customer satellites. Additionally, the Vigoride spacecraft is equipped with a mechanism designed to autonomously deploy customer satellites in the event that the spacecraft loses communications with ground stations.
Subsequent to the end of the second quarter of 2022, the Vigoride spacecraft deployed four additional customer satellites including two on July 17, 2022 and two on July 29, 2022. With the Vigoride spacecraft having now deployed six of its nine customer satellites, Momentus has now deployed a total of seven customer satellites in Low Earth Orbit, comprising six satellites from Vigoride 3 and one satellite from the third-party deployer system.
While Momentus is continuing efforts to address the anomalies experienced by the Vigoride spacecraft during its inaugural mission (Vigoride 3) and to deploy the three remaining customer satellites, the Company's level of confidence that it will be able to perform some planned operations of the vehicle on this test and demonstration mission has substantially declined. The Company is working to incorporate improvements identified during the current mission in advance of its planned follow-on missions.
The Company anticipates flying its second Vigoride vehicle to low-earth orbit on a third-party launch provider as early as November 2022. All future missions remain subject to the receipt of licenses and government approvals, and successful completion of our efforts to prepare our spacecraft for flight. The Company can offer no assurances that the vehicles that it plans to operate in future missions will be ready on time, or that they will operate as intended. Refer to "Risk Factors - We may not receive all required governmental licenses and approvals," and "Risk Factors - We are dependent on the successful development of our satellite vehicles and related technology," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
Our services are made possible by the space industry's rapid technological developments over the past two decades, driven predominantly by significant decreases in launch costs, as well as the advent of smaller, lower-cost satellites. This convergence of these trends has resulted in substantial growth in the commercial space market, rooted in higher accessibility for companies entering the new space economy that aim to offer communication, earth observation and data collection services, and other satellite services
We anticipate there could be considerable growth over the coming years in the space transportation segment as companies continue to seek versatile and low-cost ways to deliver single satellites to specific orbits or deploy their satellite constellations. We anticipate that the need for small satellite transportation to low-earth orbit will continue to drive overall demand growth for space transportation services in the short-term as technology advancements continue to make space more accessible to new market entrants, although new applications beyond low-earth orbit are also emerging. We also believe that over the next decade, new space-based businesses may emerge, for example the generation of solar energy in space, space manufacturing or space data processing. The advent of these new business models could substantially increase demand for space transportation and other space infrastructure services.
Beyond transportation, we anticipate that growth of the satellite constellations market may drive demand for our Hosted Payload, on-orbit satellite refueling, on-orbit inspection, on-orbit satellite maintenance, de-orbiting, debris removal, and other satellite-to-satellite service offerings, if we are successful in executing on our business plan,
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including fully developing and validating our technology in space. Satellite constellations have relatively short lifespans and, in our view, will require maintenance, de-orbiting, and other general servicing with higher frequency.
We expect our expenses to increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we continue to advance the development of our vehicles, build corporate infrastructure and enhance our sales and marketing functions.
The technology underlying our anticipated service offerings is still in the process of being developed, and has not been fully tested or validated in space. Our ability to execute on our business plan is dependent on the successful development and commercialization of the technologies described in this Form 10-Q. Although we believe our water plasma propulsion technology will be a key differentiator of our product offerings, we have to date only conducted one test of this technology in space. Although we believe our test unit generated plasma in space and validated the theoretical basis of our technology, we have yet to experimentally confirm the unit's ability to generate thrust in space, which is crucial to our ability to conduct actual spacecraft maneuvers in orbit. Until we can accomplish this, the technology will remain in the experimental stages. Moreover, even if the unit generates thrust, there can be no assurance that it can be operated in a manner that is sufficiently reliable and efficient to permit full commercialization of the technology. Our statements and beliefs about the viability of our technology are primarily based on theoretical analyses and experimentally observed results during ground testing and our single test of this technology in space. Development of space technologies is extremely complex, time consuming, and expensive, and there can be no assurance that our predicted theoretical and ground-based results will translate into operational space vehicles that operate within the parameters we expect, or at all. This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q describes Momentus' current business plans for continuing to develop its technology and marketing and commercializing its products, however there can be no assurance that Momentus will be able to successfully develop its technologies and implement them in commercially viable vehicles. Refer to "Risk Factors - A key component of our business model is the delivery of satellites using our vehicles from low-earth orbit to other orbits. The technology for this maneuver is still in the development stage..." under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
When our technology is fully developed and validated in the future, we currently plan to provide the following infrastructure services to the space economy:
Space Transportation. We are designing a space transportation service based on a hub-and-spoke model, which combines ride share launch on a medium or large rocket with last-mile delivery using one of our OTVs. Under this model, our customers will deliver their payload to us a few months prior to launch for integration onto our vehicle. Once we have integrated our customers' payloads, we will then ship our vehicle, holding the customer payload fixture, to the launch site, where it will be integrated onto the rocket. The rocket will then transport our vehicle to the drop-off orbit. After separation from the rocket, our vehicle will transport our customers' payloads to their chosen final orbit.
We are designing our water plasma thrusters to enable our vehicle to efficiently transport each customer payload to its respective orbit. We believe our hub-and-spoke model has the potential to expand our customers' deployment options relative to what they could achieve with ride share launch alone, while reducing their costs relative to what they could achieve with a dedicated small launch vehicle.
Initially, after delivering our customer payloads to their final orbits, our vehicles will de-orbit. However, our plan is to develop the capability for our vehicles to be reusable, such that, upon delivery of the payload, they will be capable of remaining in space to conduct additional missions.
Hosted Payload. We are designing our transfer vehicles for modularity and ease of integration with customer payloads, and with a full suite of capabilities that our customers will need on orbit. Under our Hosted Payload model, our vehicle, after transporting a customer payload to a specific orbit, would stay connected to the payload for the duration of its mission to provide continuous power, orbit maintenance, orientation, and communications to support telemetry, commanding, and downlinking of payload data. Our objective is to offer a higher degree of modularity which we believe has the potential to significantly increase orbital accessibility and/or lower manufacturing costs for a wide range of satellite operators.
In-Orbit Servicing. We view in-orbit servicing of satellites as a quickly growing business opportunity. As the number of satellites in space increases, so does their need to be serviced. We plan to design Momentus' future reusable vehicles to be capable of performing in-orbit servicing and are pursuing development activities that support this objective. Although we are still in very preliminary stages for developing this technology, our aim is to equip
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future vehicles with robotic arms and the ability to maneuver in close proximity to other spacecraft and dock or berth with them. Once fully developed, we believe these capabilities could allow us to offer a suite of different in-orbit services, such as inspection, refueling, life extension, re-positioning, salvage missions, maintenance and repair, and de-orbiting.
Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that our performance and future success depend to a substantial extent on our ability to capitalize on the following opportunities, which in turn is subject to significant risks and challenges, including those discussed below and in the section titled "Risk Factors" under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
In-Space Transport and Service Vehicles and Related Technology Development
Our primary research and development objectives focus on the development of our existing and future in-space transfer and service vehicles and related water plasma propulsion technology.
Vigoride is the first vehicle that Momentus is developing. Once fully developed, tested and validated in space, we expect Vigoride will be sufficient to meet our initial operating plan of offering in-space transportation in low-earth orbit to small satellites. Vigoride is intended to transport up to 750 kg of customer payload in low-earth orbit, although our payload capacity will likely be lower in most common configurations. We have set the delta-v and host power objectives for Vigoride at 2 km/sec and 1 kW, respectively, which we believe we can achieve a few years into our product roadmap.
Beyond our inaugural launch in May 2022, we have entered into launch services agreements with SpaceX that secure space for Vigoride on launch vehicles that SpaceX currently targets operating in the second half of 2022 and in 2023. We believe these early missions will allow us to further validate Vigoride's capabilities. While securing space on the manifest is an important step, all future missions remain subject to the receipt of licenses and government approvals, and successful completion of our efforts to prepare our spacecraft for flight. The Company can offer no assurances that the vehicles that it plans to operate in future missions will be ready on time, or that they will operate as intended. Refer to "Risk Factors - We may not receive all required governmental licenses and approvals," and "Risk Factors - We are dependent on the successful development of our satellite vehicles and related technology," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
Early Vigoride vehicles will not be reusable, meaning that we will de-orbit them following delivery of their customer payloads. However, around the middle of this decade, we plan to make our vehicles capable of reuse such that, upon delivery of their payloads, they will be able to remain in space to conduct follow-on missions. Establishing reusable vehicles will require significant additional research and technological developments. We believe our choice of water as a propellant will help with the creation of reusable vehicles because water can be stored without special conditions, other than ensuring lines and tanks do not freeze or become obstructed with ice, for an indefinite amount of time and pumped easily. Additionally, water is safe and non-hazardous relative to commonly used propellants such as cryogenic components and hypergolic toxic fuels for chemical propulsion, or highly pressurized noble gases (such as xenon or krypton) for electrical propulsion. We believe that if we are able to achieve reusability, it will allow us to lower manufacturing and launch costs on a per-ride basis and achieve higher margins and returns for our investors while also reducing our environmental impact.
Beyond Vigoride, we envision bringing two progressively larger vehicles to market, which we call Ardoride and Fervoride. These vehicles will be similar to our Vigoride vehicle, but with larger structures, larger solar arrays, and more powerful propulsion systems in order to carry progressively larger payloads progressively further from Earth.
The successful development of our vehicles with water plasma propulsion technology involves uncertainties, including:
timing in finalizing systems design and specifications;
successful completion of test programs and demonstration missions;
whether we will receive and the timing of receipt of licenses and government approvals that will allow us to fly our vehicles in space and gather valuable data that will assist in further development of our vehicles;
meeting stated technological objectives and goals for the design on time, on budget and within target cost objectives;
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our ability to obtain additional applicable approvals, licenses or certifications from regulatory agencies and maintaining current approvals, licenses or certifications;
our ability to secure slots on our launch providers' manifests;
performance of our manufacturing facility despite risks that disrupt productions, such as natural disasters;
performance of our third-party contractors that support our research and development activities;
performance of a limited number of suppliers for certain raw materials and supplied components and their willingness to do business with us;
our ability to protect our intellectual property critical to the design and function of our orbital transfer vehicles;
our ability to continue funding and maintaining our current research and development activities;
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on us, our customers, suppliers and distributors, and the global economy; and
our ability to comply with the terms of the NSA and any related compliance measures instituted by the Security Director.
A change in the outcome of any of these variables could delay the development of our vehicles which in turn could impact our business and results of operations. Refer to "Risk Factors," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
Initial and Successive Launches
Our water plasma propulsion technology (that we are developing) is based on the use of microwave electrothermal or "MET," thrusters, which we believe could ultimately provide safe, affordable, reliable, and regular in-space services, including Space Transportation, Hosted Payload, and In-Orbit Servicing. To accomplish this, we currently intend to:
Develop our commercial program for in-space transportation. We conducted our inaugural demonstration mission with our Vigoride vehicle (Vigoride 3) in May 2022. We currently plan to fly our second Vigoride vehicle on a SpaceX Transporter flight as early as November 2022. All future missions remain subject to the receipt of licenses and government approvals, and successful completion of our efforts to prepare our spacecraft for flight. The Company can offer no assurances that the vehicles that it plans to operate in future missions will be ready on time, or that they will operate as intended. Refer to "Risk Factors - We may not receive all required governmental licenses and approvals," and "Risk Factors - We are dependent on the successful development of our satellite vehicles and related technology," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
Launch our commercial program for Hosted Payload. If in the future our vehicles are operationalized for their intended in-space transport uses, we plan to develop a modular approach to satellite systems through our hosted payload model. For missions that require significant power for the payload and/or specific orbits, our objective is for Momentus to be able to provide a unique combination of a low-cost service model, in-orbit flexibility, and high electrical power generation.
Launch our commercial program for In-Orbit Servicing. If we develop reusability for our vehicles as currently contemplated, we believe we will be able to begin offering a suite of different in-orbit services to our clients. Although we have not yet developed these capabilities or the technology that would be required to provide these services, such services may include inspection, refueling, life extension, re-positioning, salvage missions, maintenance and repair, and de-orbiting. As the quantity of satellites sent into space continues to increase, we anticipate growing demand from such services.
The success of our in-space infrastructure services business will depend on our ability to successfully and regularly deliver customer satellites into custom orbits. Our early missions, particularly those in 2022 and 2023, including our inaugural mission (Vigoride 3) in May 2022, are intended to be demonstration missions. The primary goals of our planned demonstration missions are to test Vigoride on orbit and learn from any issues that we encounter. The lessons learned from demonstration missions will help inform changes we can make to our Vigoride vehicle as we seek to ultimately certify a design for production. Depending on the nature of issues we encounter, our schedule for future launches and other planned activities could be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that we will not experience operational or process failures and other problems during our future demonstration missions or on any future mission. Any failures or setbacks, particularly those that we experienced on our inaugural mission (Vigoride 3) and those that we may encounter on other early missions, could harm our reputation and have a material adverse
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effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation. Refer to "Risk Factors - We are dependent on the successful development of our satellite vehicles and related technology," under Part II, Item 1A: "Risk Factors," in this Form 10-Q and under Part I, Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2022.
We have received significant interest from a range of satellite operators, satellite manufacturers, satellite aggregators, launch service providers, and others. As of June 30, 2022, we had collected approximately $1.7 million in customer deposits related to future launches. While our standard contracts do not contain refunds or recourse provisions that enable our customers to recover any non-refundable deposits that have been paid, we issued refunds totaling $1.4 million to customers during the year ended December 31, 2021 due to cancelled launches for 2021 in order to foster future business relationships and customer goodwill.
Because our technologies have not yet been fully tested, our service offering to our customers on our demonstration missions will be limited. To reflect this, we expect to provide discounts to customers on these demonstration missions relative to the price we intend to eventually charge for our transportation services. During our demonstration missions, we plan to demonstrate Vigoride's ability to deploy satellites. Once all customer payloads have been released, we . . .
Aug 11, 2022
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