- Sector : Smart Hardware Investment Date : September 2023
- Founder & CEO : Tom Mueller C4 Ventures leads : Boris, Enzo
- HQ : El Segundo, California Website : https://www.impulsespace.com
What they do
Today, space is becoming strategic for many companies. It is forecasted that no less than 27,000 satellites will be in-orbit in 2030 (McKinsey & Company). The problem is that low-altitude orbits (Low Earth Orbits- LEO) are becoming saturated and limited in terms of area coverage. One clear solution is to launch satellites to more distant orbits named Geostationary Equatorial Orbits (GEO) to have more space and a greater Earth surface coverage.
For now, satellites must transit via Geostationary Transfer Orbits (GTO) for months before reaching GEO or pay a high price to embark on a heavy vehicle. Impulse’s space vehicle “Helios » will cut the cost to go from LEO to GEO and shorten transfer time from several weeks to a few hours. Just like a van, “Helios” will provide in-space transportation to customised orbits, facilitating journeys to GEOs, the Moon, and Mars.
Impulse Space’s founder and CEO Tom Mueller is one of the most renowned space engineers globally. Tom Mueller is notably famous for co-founding SpaceX with Elon Musk and designing SpaceX’s groundbreaking propulsion engines Merlin (powering Falcon9) and Draco (powering the Dragon spacecraft). Tom Mueller went through the whole SpaceX journey and brought along dozens of SpaceX engineers and executives with him to Impulse.
Impulse’s initial and immediate focus lies in another space vehicle « Mira » that is capable of delivering multiple payloads to unique orbits from a single launch. Using chemical propulsion, Mira will be able to perform a series of on-orbit tasks like last-mile payload delivery, payload hosting, low-altitude maneuvers, and atmospheric re-entry. Mira’s first mission will launch on a Falcon9 and is planned for November 2023, less than 2 years after the company’s foundation !
How we met
C4 Ventures had been looking into SpaceTech for a couple of years, gathering knowledge and building relationships with the ecosystem, although all this hard work did not materialize into an actual investment… until we met Tom and the Impulse team. Boris eventually heard about them from a close friend and Business Angel. As soon as we met, it became crystal clear on both sides that we would create value together, starting with the company’s expansion to the European market.