Two companies you have never heard of could reach Mars first

Two companies you have never heard of could reach Mars first

Impulse and Relativity’s window for launch from Cape Canaveral begins in 2024 and will last through 2029
Gif: Impulse and relativity / Gizmodo

Private space companies Impulse Space and Relativity Space have announced an ambitious joint venture that is ready to be the first commercial assignment to Marchwhich will include the launch of a payload as soon as 2024.

A revived interest in space has led private companies to shift their attention to Mars, and a new collaboration announced Tuesday between Impulse Space and Relativity Space may be the first commercial landing on the red planet. Impulse Space is a company founded by Tom Mueller, a SpaceX alum, who specializes in getting payloads into and around space. Relativity Space, meanwhile, focuses on the production of spacecraft using 3D metal printing, artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics. Impulse will contribute the Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander to Relativity’s Terran R, which is a fully 3D-printed launch vehicle. The launch will take place from Florida’s Cape Canaveral as early as 2024, and the companies have an exclusive agreement to launch there until 2029.

“This is an important milestone for both impulse and relativity, as well as the entire space industry,” Tom Mueller said in a press release. Mueller also serves as Impulse’s CEO. Relativity founder and CEO Tim Ellis added, “This is a monumental challenge, but one that is successfully achieved will expand the possibilities of human experience over our lifetime across two planets.”

Relativity and impulse space announce the first commercial mission to Mars

The companies say the Mars lander will support research and development of future planetary settlements, but further details on how the lander will do so specifically are thin. Impulse and relativity did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment. Terran R is a descendant of Relativity’s Terran 1 – a 3D-printed rocket that is scheduled to be launched later this year – and the company says that Terran R can serve “as a point-to-point spacecraft capable of missions between Earth. , The Moon and Mars. ” In other words, Relativity as a company has not even launched a rocket yet, and Impulse Space has not yet tested one of their payloads in orbit, according to Eric Berger from Ars Technica.

Mars is about to become the latest target for private space companies that want to be the first to land, but Relativity and Impulse are not the only ones with high (and potentially unattainable) expectations. Elon Musk from SpaceX doubled his plans for the red planet in an interview from April 2022 by repeating his lofty goal of getting 1 million settlers on Mars by the year 2050.

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