In most cases, when it comes to commercial space and space start-ups, the focus will be on the orbit of the Earth or possibly the moon,media reported. But Xplore, a Seattle-based start-up, wants to expand further to that end, as it prepares to develop spacecraft and a platform for commercial missions such as the moon, Mars, Venus and extraterrestrial asteroids.
It was learned that Xplore was building a spacecraft capable of carrying small payloads (about 70-150 pounds) to deep space destinations. The company, which began operations in 2017, is co-founded by Lisa Rich and Jeff Rich, who also plan to launch the first spacecraft to the moon starting in 2021.
Nanoracks, a commercial space company that has a long history of developing and deploying commercial spacecraft, including small satellites launched from the International Space Station (ISS), and payload holders include agencies such as THE European Space Agency ESA, NASA and the German Space Agency. In 2016, Nanoracks opened its first commercial test platform, when it was installed outside ISS, allowing private companies to conduct microgravity and space radiation exposure experiments there.
It is understood that Xplore’s spacecraft will be able to carry multiple payloads, and Nanoracks will be able to use their experience to help Xplore customers prepare and integrate cargo so that they can execute launches faster and more efficiently with less preparation time.
In addition, Xplore will plan to perform Earth orbit missions, focus on rapid response capabilities and handle all aspects of mission parameters, spacecraft and operations for its clients.
Now, as more launch providers and launch capabilities are on the line, the demand for mission logistics and payload launch services is bound to grow — and off-orbit destinations will make Xplore an attractive supplier.