Momentus’ new CEO aims to put the company’s past regulatory issues behind it and focus on producing the in-space propulsion system, which it plans to showcase next year. On August 1, John Rood took over as CEO of Momentus for the first time. Rood worked for the US government for more than 20 years, notably as the undersecretary in charge of the defense for policy from 2018 – 2020. Since January, Dawn Harms, who has been serving as acting CEO, has been promoted to the chief revenue officer.
Rood said in an interview that he was drawn to Momentus owing to the role he envisions the firm playing in carrying cubesats and other tiny satellites to their intended orbits on rideshare flights. “What grabbed my interest was that there was a period in space in the space business that I desired to be a portion of. “I see a new period, if you will, when we will use space differently,” he remarked. “Cubesats offer capabilities that I didn’t think were possible previously, and we’re going to see a massive increase in their utilization. I thought the Momentus vision was incredibly appealing when I first saw it.”
Due to regulatory issues, the business has yet to show its capacity to transport cubesats. Because of Department of Defense concerns about the business’s foreign ownership at the period, the company was unable to obtain a payload assessment from the FAA to fly its initial Vigoride tugs on the SpaceX rideshare flights in January and June. Due to these concerns, the business’s original Russian CEO, Mikhail Kokorich, resigned and sold the shares he, as well as another Russian co-founder by the name of Lev Khasis, owned in the company.
The business said on June 9 that it had achieved a deal with the Department of Defense and the Treasury Department on national security. “We believe we’ve made tremendous progress in addressing the government’s concerns,” Rood added, citing the deal as an example. “The Defense Department oversees that arrangement, and we’re in constant contact with them as we begin to fulfill the national security agreement’s requirements.”
The corporation has taken steps to fulfill the agreement, including hiring Victorino Mercado, a retired two-star admiral, as the security director and an executive, Karen Plonty, with over 35 years of experience in international compliance plans, as its top security officer. He stated, “They’ve started working on putting all the systems in place and working with the Department of Defense to clear the essential understandings.” “We’re putting in the effort to get it done.”