Two private companies are teaming up to reach Mars before SpaceX
Two private companies just entered the race to mars. These are two start-ups based in California: Relativity Space and Impulse Space. On July 19, the two companies announced that they were going to collaborate in order to be able to launch the first commercial mission to the Red Planet in 2024.
According to the information, Relativity Space will provide the rocket to launch from Earth. This is the rocket Terran Ra launcher 3D printed and reusable. For its part, Impulse Space will be in charge of the Martian lander. The company will use its machine Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander to bring equipment to the surface of Mars.
With the first launch taking place in 2024, the two partners aim to reach Mars years before SpaceX. The latter plans to install the first human colonies on the planet before the end of the decade, but has not yet given an exact timetable.
A major challenge
If Relativity Space and Impulse Space are successful in achieving their goal, they will be deemed the first private companies to reach Mars. But there is still a long way to go since neither of these two start-ups has yet sent a payload into space.
Relativity Space was founded in 2015. It is among the first companies to use 3D printing of metals for the manufacture of rocket fuselages and engines. The approach chosen by Relativity Space allows, according to the company, to reduce the complexity of the supply chain and the manufacturing times. Currently, the company is developing or operating numerous launch infrastructures for the US Air Force and NASA. The 2024 mission will be an opportunity for her to launch the Terran R rocket for the first time.
Regarding Impulse Space, it was created in 2021. Its purpose is to enable low-cost deliveries of payloads into space. Customers will thus be able to “access the orbit or other worlds”. The company’s specialty is the manufacture of orbital delivery vehicles.
Both companies think big
Faced with the challenge that awaits them, the leaders of the two companies are confident. According to Tom Mueller, CEO and Founder of Impulse Space, this is a major step for both companies, but also for the space industry. He added that one of the most difficult aspects of landing on Mars is “the glide phase” during which a shield protects the lander so it can survive entering the Martian atmosphere. However, with the strength of each team’s collaboration, as well as experience and passion, Mueller is confident of the mission’s success.
For Tim Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Relativity Space, this partnership between the two companies will make humanity’s dream of reaching Mars a reality.
Time will tell if Relativity Space and Impulse Space will indeed be the first private companies to reach the Martian surface.