Momentus' Vigoride in-space transfer and service vehicle render. Credits: Momentus

Momentus and Ascent Solar To Offer Innovative Solar Arrays For Satellites

Momentus and Ascent Solar join forces to pioneer advanced solar arrays for space missions, promising cost-efficiency and superior performance

Momentus Inc. and Ascent Solar Technologies have unveiled a partnership aimed at introducing cutting-edge solar arrays to the space industry. The collaboration will showcase the fusion of Momentus’ innovative Tape Spring Solar Array (TASSA) technology with Ascent Solar’s high-performance, flexible photovoltaic modules.

Momentus' Vigoride in-space transfer and service vehicle render. Credits: Momentus
Momentus’ Vigoride in-space transfer and service vehicle render. Credits: Momentus

The exponential growth in satellite production and deployment has spurred a demand for cost-effective yet reliable solar arrays, capable of delivering superior performance in the harsh conditions of space.

Addressing this need head-on, Momentus and Ascent Solar have joined forces to introduce a next-generation solar array that promises to offer unparalleled advantages to customers.


Two consolidated companies

Momentus is a U.S. commercial space company which offers a suite of satellite buses, technologies, and in-orbit services. Those includes transportation and hosted payloads, with a focus on innovation and reliability.

Leveraging the success of the pathfinder demonstration of TASSA, launched aboard the Vigoride-6 mission to Low-Earth Orbit one year ago, the company plans to integrate a high-power photovoltaic array into the next iteration of TASSA, currently under development.

This move follows the validation of Ascent Solar Technologies’ solar blankets during the pathfinder demonstration, highlighting their efficiency and resilience as a power generation solution in space.

A view of the Earth from Vigoride-6 onboard camera. Credits: Momentus
A view of the Earth from Vigoride-6 onboard camera. Credits: Momentus

On the other side, Ascent Solar Technologies is backed by four decades of research and development, specializes in the production of high-performance, flexible thin-film solar panels. Their experience has earned them a leading position in the solar energy sector, with applications ranging from space missions to consumer goods.

Thus, the upcoming TASSA iteration will incorporate Ascent’s Titan Modules to further enhance cost-effectiveness and power generation efficiency.


A merge of technologies

“TASSA is engineered to generate significant power at minimal cost, all while optimizing mass and volume,” said Rob Schwarz, Momentus’ Chief Technology Officer.

“Our design philosophy aims to empower Smallsats to harness kilowatts of power in orbit without compromising on essential parameters such as mass, thermal management, or budget constraints. This strategic approach not only enhances satellite packing efficiencies but also expedites constellation deployments, offering a cost-effective pathway to space exploration,” he added.

Notably, one of TASSA’s standout features is its retractable and re-deployable nature, which enables the array to minimize cross-sectional area and exposure to potential orbital hazards. In particular, this capability enhances mission longevity and ensures uninterrupted spacecraft operations, even in the face of unforeseen challenges such as conjunction alerts or space weather events.

“Ascent’s flexible, lightweight photovoltaic modules are ideally suited for the rigors of space,” commented Paul Warley, CEO of Ascent Solar Technologies, in a statement.

Addiotionally, he added: “Our products boast resilience to radiation and other environmental factors encountered in Earth-Moon orbits, translating to enhanced end-of-life power output with significantly reduced mass requirements. We are proud to serve as the baseline power generation solution for TASSA and look forward to further collaboration with Momentus in pioneering sustainable solutions for space-based applications.”


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Edoardo Giammarino

Edoardo Giammarino

Co-Founder & CEO. Drummer and Red Cross Volunteer, born in 1997. I like analog photography and videomaking. Firmly music-addicted.

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