Impulse Space, Inc., a pioneer in the development of in-space transportation services for the inner solar system, announces a historic partnership and the first commercial mission to Mars with Relativity Space, Inc., the first company to 3D print entire rockets and build the world’s largest metal 3D printers. The commercial mission to Mars will be tasked to deliver a payload to Mars.
With a launch window expected to begin in 2024, the historic collaboration accelerates the companies’ shared goal of a multiplanetary existence for humanity.
First Commercial Mission to Mars
Terran R, the world’s first fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, is paving the way for a new class of reusable launch vehicles that will expand opportunities for space exploration and scientific research. Terran R features unique design geometries not possible in traditional manufacturing, made possible by Relativity’s proprietary 3D printing process and exotic materials, driving exponential innovation and disruption in the industry.
Terran R offers both government and commercial customers affordable access to space, in LEO and beyond, with a five-meter payload fairing and the ability to launch nearly 20 times more payload than Terran 1, Relativity’s first 3D printed rocket set for its first orbital launch this year. By serving as a point-to-point space freighter capable of missions between Earth, the Moon, and Mars, Terran R also represents a significant step forward in Relativity’s mission to build humanity’s multi-planetary future. Relativity has signed five customers for Terran R to date, totalling more than $1.2 billion in backlog, including a multi-year, multi-launch Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with OneWeb announced in June 2022.
Relativity’s radically simplified supply chain enables the company to print rockets with 100x fewer parts in less than 60 days, disrupting 60 years of aerospace with 3D printing, autonomous robotics, and machine learning. The company’s proprietary 3D printing process revolves around its Stargate printers, the world’s largest metal 3D printer developed and built in-house by Relativity. Relativity has created four generations of Stargate, with the most recent version increasing the print speed of the previous generation by ten times.
“This is a major milestone for both Impulse and Relativity, as well as the entire space industry. One of the most challenging aspects of landing on Mars is the ‘glide stage,’ which involves an aeroshell to encapsulate the lander for the survival of Mars entry. With the power of our combined teams, experience and passion, I am confident this historic commercial mission to Mars will be just one of many to come.”– Tom Mueller, Founder and CEO, Impulse Space
Mars – The Next Frontier
Impulse Space, founded in September 2021 by Tom Mueller – an Ex-SpaceX founding member, is motivated by a vision to provide dependable and cost-effective in-space transportation services that include both last-mile space payload delivery services and support for the logistics of satellite in-space orbital movements. Impulse team members have deep industry experience, having led some of the most innovative companies in the Space 2.0 sector and developed products for organizations such as SpaceX, NASA, GE, Joe Gibbs Racing, Virgin, and others.
Mars is the next frontier for humanity, and it has captivated the attention of leading scientists and engineers since humans first set foot on the Moon. With the commercialization of space, as well as the rapid iteration and innovation enabled by automation and metal 3D printing, the reality of a multiplanetary species on Earth and Mars is rapidly approaching.
Talking about the partnership and the commercial mission to Mars, Tim Ellis, Cofounder and CEO of Relativity said, “We believe building a multiplanetary future on Mars is only possible if we inspire dozens to hundreds of companies to work toward a singular goal. This is a monumental challenge, but one that successfully achieved will expand the possibilities for human experience in our lifetime across two planets. With the delivery capabilities of Terran R coupled with Impulse’s in-space transportation, we are bringing humanity one step closer to making Mars a reality. This is a historic, impactful partnership with Tom and the entire Impulse team through the collaboration of two low-cost commercial providers that will establish and expand our presence on Mars.”
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