A new startup believes it can provide transportation and tech support in space with its own water-propelled spacecraft.
- Argo Space Corporation is a new startup founded by three brothers, Robert Carlisle, Ryan Carlisle, and Kirby Carlisle, last year—they are former Space X engineers who worked on Falcon and Starship.
- The company claims that it can build reusable spacecraft powered by water propellants that can transport people and cargo in space.
- Argo says that if it can harvest water from the Moon, it can use its refuelable Argonaut spacecraft to inspect satellites and remove debris in low Earth orbit.
- The company is in discussions with lunar rover and mining startups to meet the need for a consistent supply of lunar water.
Why It’s News
A new age began on November 16, with the launch of NASA’s Artemis I spacecraft—signifying the beginning of a new space race. A significant part of the launch was the agency’s push for public-private partnerships, which have allowed the agency to rely on startups and aerospace corporations to support the effort to turn space into the next frontier for industry, research, communication technology, and exploration.
Argo CEO Kirby Carlisle tells Techcrunch that the company will have an advantage in the space economy, given that satellites in orbit do not currently have the capacity to be refueled or repaired once they are deployed. The water-propellant technology is not novel or new, so the success of the company is going to be determined by its capacity to refuel its Argonaut spacecraft.
“We look at this a lot like the California gold rush, where we are going to be commercializing this resource on the Moon—water—and that’s going to enable a whole lot of other companies to build up their businesses, go after other new resources and bring new capabilities into the space that otherwise would not be possible or at all or economical without a service like ours,” says Carlisle.