The Race to Mars Is Getting Crowded as Two Companies In lined

Anurag Sharma
Anurag Sharma

Updated · Jul 21, 2022

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Impulse Space and Relativity Space are California-based start-up space companies that announced on July 19, 2021, that they will team up to launch the first commercial mission in 2024 to Mars. This is years before the first possible trip by the more well-known SpaceX. It is also known for its long-term plans to form a human environment on the Red Planet.

A press journal states that Relativity Space will provide the 3D-printed Terran R rocket. In contrast, Impulse Space will provide the Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander for equipment placement on the Martian surface.

According to Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, the proposed mission’s 2024 timeline would place Relativity Space, Impulse Space, and Elon Musk ahead of Elon Musk. This company could launch a commercial mission to Mars before the end of this decade. SpaceX has not yet set a date for its planned Mars trip.

Impulse and Relativity might become the first profitable space companies to reach the Red Planet if they can execute their plans. It is important to remember that neither company has yet to send a payload to space.
They have been working hard to make it happen. ArsTechnica reported that Relativity Space was established in 2015. It has raised more than $1 billion in funding and has pioneered metal 3D printing to produce its rocket engines and fuselages. This manufacturing method reduces supply chain complexity as well as development timeframes.

Relativity Space currently operates or is developing multiple launch sites and their associated infrastructure at various U.S. Air Force installations and NASA. Although this construction shows that Relativity Space is a significant player within the commercial launch services market, it has not yet launched a rocket into orbit. Relativity would launch the Terran R for the first time in 2024.

Impulse Space was established in 2021. It currently employs 40 people. Their LinkedIn Page states that the company intends to allow “low-cost, nimble last mile space payload delivery” to enable customers to “access any orbit” and even reach other planets. Their website states that the company specializes in creating orbital maneuvering vehicles for last-mile payload delivery.

Although the 2024 mission is their first, both companies’ leaders have stated that they are confident that this partnership will land a payload on Mars.
Tom Mueller, CEO and founder of Impulse Space, stated, “This is an essential achieving for both Impulse as well as Relativity as well as for the entire industry.” The ‘glide stage’ is the most challenging aspect of landing on Mars. It involves an aero shell that protects the lender and ensures its survival. This historic mission is possible because of our teams’ combined power, experience, and passion.

Impulse’s Mueller is a founding member and headed its propulsion department from 2019 to 2020. According to his LinkedIn profile, he previously served as VP of Propulsion Engineering from 2002 to 2014.

Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Relativity Space, stated that the partnership between companies makes the human dream of reaching Mars possible. Ellis noted that he believes building a multi-planetary future on Mars can only be achieved if dozens to hundreds more companies work towards a single goal and considerable challenge. Still, it will allow us to expand our human experience across two planets.
Mueller told the New York Times that landing a spacecraft on Mars by 2024 is a considerable challenge. While many people believe the mission will fail, this level of challenge is what the company is aiming for.

Anurag Sharma

Anurag Sharma

He has been helping in business of varied scales, with key strategic decisions. He is a specialist in healthcare, medical devices, and life-science, and has accurately predicted the trends in the market. Anurag is a fervent traveller, and is passionate in exploring untouched places and locations. In his free time, he loves to introspect and plan ahead.