Hard to see the business case here, the only thing I can think of is that they think NASA will start a CLPS equivalent program for Mars cargo delivery.
The Mars mission was conceived last year when Relativity's vice president of engineering and manufacturing, Zach Dunn, reached out to Mueller. [...]The companies devised a mission in which the Terran-R vehicle would boost a Mars Cruise Vehicle developed by Impulse Space into a trajectory toward Mars.[...] [Tim Ellis] said he wanted to make a statement by putting a Mars-bound payload on the first launch of the Terran-R rocket. Ellis founded Relativity Space partly because he was inspired by what SpaceX and Elon Musk were trying to do to make humanity a multiplanetary species. This commercial mission, he said, would move the needle forward.
Very cool. I am guessing this is too small to carry ExoMars, but it would be nice if something like this could be used to eventually get ExoMars to it's intended destination.
Is there a sufficient market to economically sustain a commercial, scientific Mars lander? Here's Aaron answering this Instagram #AskMeAnything.
Our "Saiph" thruster firing in our vacuum test chamber#Impulse #GoToImpulse #AccessAnyOrbit #Propulsion #PropulsionTest #Engines #Thrust
Our current thrusters are named after stars in the Orion constellation. Saiph is the small blue star below Rigel in this illustration. Saiph is our 5 lbf (22 N) thrust engine and Rigel is our 180 lbf (800 N) thrust engine that will be used to land on Mars @GoToImpulse
twitter.com/gotoimpulse/status/1592270182256611328QuoteOur "Saiph" thruster firing in our vacuum test chamber#Impulse #GoToImpulse #AccessAnyOrbit #Propulsion #PropulsionTest #Engines #Thrusthttps://twitter.com/lrocket/status/1592294834261614592QuoteOur current thrusters are named after stars in the Orion constellation. Saiph is the small blue star below Rigel in this illustration. Saiph is our 5 lbf (22 N) thrust engine and Rigel is our 180 lbf (800 N) thrust engine that will be used to land on Mars @GoToImpulse
Rigel-M thrusters (adapted for Mars atmosphere). Design integrates entire fluid circuit into single printed part, eliminates need for tubing, ducts, etc. Running units through development testing before integrating onto our Mars lander prototype vehicle for Earth hover testing.
Ongoing 'Saiph' thruster vacuum testing. #Impulse #GoToImpulse #AccessAnyOrbit #Propulsion
Impulse Space will hitch a ride on SpaceX’s Transporter-9 for first mission later this year https://tcrn.ch/3Zd1xFW by @breadfrom
Impulse Space announced Jan. 4 it will launch its first orbital transfer vehicle late this year on a SpaceX rideshare mission.Impulse Space said its LEO Express-1 mission, using a transfer vehicle it is developing called Mira, is manifested for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-9 rideshare mission currently scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter of 2023. LEO Express-1 will carry a primary payload for an undisclosed customer.Barry Matsumori, chief operating officer of Impulse Space, said in an interview that the mission can accommodate additional payloads, like cubesats. The mission profile is still being finalized, but he said the vehicle, after making some initial deployments, may raise its orbit, then lower it to demonstrate operations in what’s known as very low Earth orbit, around 300 kilometers.
Looks like Impulse is looking to expand quite a bit: they have 22 job requisitions open, including 2 particularly interesting ones: - Turbomachinery Development Engineer: https://impulsespace.pinpointhq.com/en/jobs/56785 - Turbomachinery Engineer - Aerodynamic/Hydrodynamic Design: https://impulsespace.pinpointhq.com/en/jobs/56786So it looks like they're bringing turbomachinery in house, as evident by the fact that they're looking for aero/hydrodynamicists. If they were buying or operating turbopumps, the development engineer role itself would be sufficient. It also indicates that they're looking at "conventional" turbomachinery and not electric "turbo"pumps since they specify hot gas turbine rotors.I'm curious what this indicates. Their business has been oriented towards space propulsion for last-mile space tugs and landers, neither of which would trade particularly well for turbopumps. That implies they're looking to make a much larger engine.Did Tom get bored with the little thrusters already? Are they looking to compete directly with Ursa Major? Is this related to the contracts with Relativity and perhaps assisting them with Aeon R (gross speculation on that front)?
This is SN1 Saiph 5lb thruster, ready to start qualification testing. In development we put over 40,000 pulses and 50,000 seconds of burn duration on the Saiph thrusters. @GoToImpulse
The integrated Cruise Vehicle, Entry Capsule, and Mars Lander developed by Impulse Space will launch in 2026 on the Relativity Terran R launch vehicle. After traveling through interplanetary space for over half a year, the Cruise Vehicle will inject the Entry Capsule into the correct landing trajectory and detach. The Entry Capsule will use the proven combination of heatshield and parachute to slow down enough to safely deploy the Mars Lander into freefall. The lander will then perform a propulsive landing using purpose-built engines developed in-house at Impulse Space, completing the first commercial payload delivery to the surface of another planet.https://www.impulsespace.com/mars