Dr. Fred Kennedy, President of Momentus Inc., which is merging with Stable Road Acquisition Corp.
Momentus Inc., a provider of in-space infrastructure services, continues to expect the same number of launches and the same revenue in 2021 despite an adjustment to its launch schedule. The company also remains on track to complete its merger with Stable Road Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SRAC) during the first quarter, clearing the way for a formal listing shortly thereafter.
That’s according to Momentus President Dr. Fred Kennedy, who spoke to IPO Edge following an announcement Monday that a mission scheduled for January would be moved to a subsequent launch in 2021 to allow sufficient time for a review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Momentus regularly undergoes review by various agencies and has cleared them.
Momentus has several more launches planned between June and December 2021 with SpaceX, the company formed in 2002 by Elon Musk, who also founded Tesla, Inc. Momentus, which counts major players such Lockheed Martin and NASA as customers, is one of a number of space-focused companies recently getting attention from investors, notably Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
The full interview with Dr. Kennedy is below:
IPO Edge: You initially planned to launch your inaugural Vigoride transport vehicle in December 2020, and that date was moved to January 2021, with the launch now being remanifested to a subsequent time in 2021. What caused the delays?
Dr. Kennedy: The initial shift in our schedule resulted from a launch delay unrelated to Momentus. The most recent shift (from January 2021 to a subsequent launch in 2021) came about as result of a delay in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) approval of Momentus’ spacecraft. The FAA did not express any specific concerns of its own, but rather indicated that more time was needed to complete its interagency review of Momentus’ payload.
IPO Edge: What is the nature of this interagency review, and is this the first time you are undergoing such a review?
Dr. Kennedy: We are quite familiar with interagency review processes, and we have cleared similar reviews for our other licenses. For example, we recently cleared an interagency review as part of our effort to obtain a license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to allow the operation of our spacecraft’s camera. While we discuss interagency reviews in our S-4, these reviews are a standard part of various license application processes, allowing multiple government agencies – the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of State, NASA, and others – to examine the applications from their individual perspectives.
IPO Edge: You state in your S-4 that interagency review may include a review of foreign ownership. Is that a concern for Momentus?
Dr. Kennedy: NOAA and its partner agencies have already reviewed Momentus’ foreign ownership – this review was completed to the satisfaction of these agencies, as evidenced by NOAA’s issuance of a license.
Momentus is approximately 74% U.S.-owned today, and this U.S.-majority ownership is expected to increase to approximately 84% upon the company’s merger with Stable Road. This merger is on target to close in the first quarter of 2021 (subject to approval of Stable Road’s and Momentus’ stockholders and other closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the SEC). We also mention in our S-4 that Mikhail Kokorich, the CEO of Momentus and one of the company’s larger shareholders, is an asylum seeker from the Russian Federation, currently pursuing several paths to U.S. Person status. We believe that Mr. Kokorich meets all legal requirements to be granted such status in the United States, and that he will be offered U.S. citizenship, further increasing U.S. ownership of Momentus.
IPO Edge: In addition to the FAA approval, are there any other approvals/licenses Momentus still needs in order to launch Vigoride?
Dr. Kennedy: No, Momentus currently holds all necessary licenses for its Vigoride vehicle.
IPO Edge: How will the new launch date impact your 2021 revenue?
Dr. Kennedy: The number of launches did not change. Rather than launching in January, we will launch this particular vehicle at our first opportunity, later this year. Hence, we do not expect changes to our total revenue for 2021.
IPO Edge: Does this new timing impact your technology roadmap progress or ability to win new customers?
Dr. Kennedy: This launch delay does not impact our technology roadmap. We had already planned to fly our upgraded Vigoride 2.0 transfer vehicle in June 2021, followed by vehicles with additional technical improvements during the third and fourth quarters. We expect this iterative approach will allow us to achieve planned performance targets by the end of this calendar year. We are continuing to develop our high-power water plasma thruster and other key subsystems for incorporation into a much larger and more capable vehicle, Ardoride, which we expect will be able to reach geosynchronous or even lunar orbits. We are confident that the unique complement of services offered by Vigoride and Ardoride will garner substantial customer interest.
IPO Edge: Will the new launch date impact the timing of your merger with Stable Road Acquisition Corp.?
Dr. Kennedy: No. Momentus’ merger with Stable Road remains on target to close in the first quarter of 2021 (subject to approval of Stable Road’s and Momentus’ stockholders and other closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the SEC).
IPO Edge Contact:
John Jannarone, Editor-in-Chief