August 10, 2022

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Two companies you’ve never heard of can get to Mars first

Two companies you've never heard of can get to Mars first

The Impulse and Relativity window to launch from Cape Canaveral begins in 2024 and will continue to the end 2029.
GIF: Motivation and Relativity / Gizmodo

Private space companies Impulse Space and Relativity Space have announced an ambitious joint venture that is poised to be the first commercial mission Marswhich will feature a payload launch from 2024.

Renewed interest in space has led private companies to turn their attention to Mars, and a new collaboration announced Tuesday Between Impulse Space and Relativity Space could be the first commercial landing on the Red Planet. Impulse Space is a company founded by Tom Mueller, a SpaceX company, that specializes in moving payloads into and around space. At the same time, Relativity Space is focused on the production of spacecraft using 3D metal printing, artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics. Impulse will contribute its Mars Cruise and Mars Lander vehicles to Relativity’s Terran R, a fully 3D-printed launch vehicle. The launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida will occur as early as 2024, and the companies have an exclusive agreement to launch there until 2029.

Tom Mueller said in press release. Mueller also serves as the CEO of Impulse. The founder and CEO of Relativity, Tim Ellis, added, “This is a formidable challenge, but one that has been successfully achieved will expand the possibilities of human experience in our lifetime across two planets.”

Relativity and Space Propulsion announce first commercial mission to Mars

The companies say the Mars probe will support research and development for future planetary settlements, but additional details about how specifically the probe will do so are weak. Impulse and Relativity did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. The Terran R is a descendant of Relativity’s Terran 1 — a 3D-printed rocket due to launch later this year — and the company says the Terran R could function as “a point-to-point cargo spaceship capable of performing missions between Earth, the Moon and Mars.” In other words. As a company, Relativity has yet to launch a rocket, and Impulse Space has yet to test one of its payloads into orbit, according to Eric Berger of Ars Technica.

Mars has become the latest target for private space companies looking to be the first to land, but relativity and impulse are They aren’t the only ones with huge (and potentially unattainable) expectations. SpaceX’s Elon Musk doubled down on his plans for the red planet in an April 2022 interview by repeating his lofty goal of getting million settlers on Mars by 2050.

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