When the Crew Dragon splashed down within the Gulf of Mexico final Sunday—finishing the primary manned house mission from American soil in 9 years—Mikhail Kokorich was exultant. Which is putting, on condition that he’s Russian.
Crew Dragon was conceived and constructed by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space-transport firm. “It’s exceptional,” Mr. Kokorich, a physicist and aerospace engineer, says of the mission, “as a result of it marks the transition of house exploration from the nation-state into the arms of personal entrepreneurs.”
Mr. Kokorich, 44, is one such entrepreneur. In 2017 he based Momentus, a California-based firm that seeks to revolutionize transport in house by creating in-space switch autos that use water as a propellant. These would “complement low-cost gigantic rockets, like Starship from SpaceX and New Glenn from Blue Origin,” he says. Craft constructed by Momentus would allow the outer-space equal of the connecting flight. A satellite tv for pc would attain orbit by “ride-sharing on an enormous rocket,” then switch to a Momentus car for the subsequent leg farther out.
The selection of water as a propellant, Mr. Kokorich says, would “not solely allow extraordinarily low-cost in-space autos—in-built a ‘Mad Max’ steampunk type—however finally permit the usage of water mined from the moon and from asteroids.” Far-fetched? He factors to “binding contracts already with NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Air Drive,” to not point out dozens of satellite tv for pc operators and producers. “Hell, Momentus even has a ride-share partnership settlement with SpaceX.”