MOJAVE — Impulse Space, a company developing spacecraft to provide on-orbit maneuvering and has joined the race for the first commercial mission to Mars, is expanding its presence at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
On Tuesday, the airport Board of Directors approved an expanded lease in the test site area on the airport’s north side for the El Segundo-based firm.
“I am extremely excited to have them based here in Mojave,” General Manager/CEO Tim Reid said.
Impulse Space has been conducting rocket engine tests on a leased one-acre test site for its propulsion testing for the past year, but wanted to make Mojave their permanent testing home, he said.
The new lease is for just over five acres of land. Impulse will use this area to improve Test Site 1 with the addition of a control room and an enclosed test cell for testing small engines in vacuum conditions.
Additionally, they plan to build two other test stands for static engine firing testing, with one of those stands also capable of being used for low-level test flights, according to the staff report.
The plans are perfect for the Test Site 1 area, Reid said.
The lease is for five years, with five one-year options. The rate is $5,630 per month, netting the airport $67,561 annually, according to the staff report.
“Thank you for coming to Mojave,” Director Jimmy Balentine told members of Impulse Space, joining the Board meeting via Zoom.
Balentine asked why they chose the Mojave Air and Space Port for their testing home.
“It’s just recognized as a place of excellence for testing in California,” Impulse Space officials said. “It’s got security already built in, it’s got infrastructure, power and waters.”
The company was founded in 2021 by CEO Tom Mueller, an engineer with more than 30 years of propulsion development experience, including as a founding member of SpaceX, where he led development of the propulsion systems for the Falcon family of rockets, the Starship Launch Vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft.
Impulse Space expects to launch its first orbital mission, LEO Express-1, late this year.
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