Russian businessman brought the Momentus space company to the brink of bankruptcy

California-based space startup Momentus has informed shareholders of the end of the money and is asking for a financial rescue. The Company cited its inability to maintain continuous operations as a result of limited liquidity and cash balances. Momentus has already abandoned its plans to carry out the next mission in March. The mission was aimed at launching the next batch of satellites by the Vigoride space tug.

Vigoride space tug. Illustration: Momentus 

The company was previously valued at more than USD 1 billion before going public in 2021. But in December 2023, the company was forced to lay off 20% of its staff to reduce costs. Despite this, Momentus stated that the ability to finance operations in the coming months would depend on equity capital or participation in a strategic transaction.

The company stressed that there were no final commitments yet. Momentus shares fell by more than 30% during trading on Friday, and their market value dropped to almost USD 5 million. Earlier this month, the company received another exclusion warning from Nasdaq, having avoided being excluded from the exchange last year by a reverse stock split.

Scandals and falsifications

Momentus is one of the many space companies that have entered the SPAC market. In general, the company already had problems before going public. The company delayed launches and was accused of falsifying the test results of a prototype spacecraft.

Artist’s impressions of the Vigilide-5 spacecraft. Image:

The founder of Momentus was Russian entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich, who resigned in January. Investors learned that American law prohibits him from using the company’s technology. Then the Pentagon said that Momentus posed a risk to national security. Stable Road said in a statement that Kokorich’s resignation was part of an effort to accelerate the resolution of the company’s foreign ownership problems.

All these problems led to the fact that last year the total value of Momentus dropped to less than USD 600 million.

The company has completed four missions, deploying 17 satellites to customers. Momentus positions itself as a “fast delivery service” for spacecraft, focused on the small satellite market. Its main product is the orbital vehicle, or the Vigoride space tug, which puts satellites into a certain near-Earth orbit.

Earlier, we reported how a water-powered satellite “jumped” 3 km.

According to CNBC

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