That's one way to fly a spaceship.
Three brothers who used to work at SpaceX walk into a bar and order some Moon water — stop me if you've heard this one before.
As reported by TechCrunch, the brothers Carlisle (Robert, Ryan, and Kirby, all of whom used to work at Elon Musk's space venture) are working to build reusable spacecraft that are propelled by plasma thrusters powered by water harvested from the Moon.
Their startup, Argo Space Corporation, would not only launch its own "Argonaut" spacecraft, but also develop its own method for harvesting and storing lunar water in space for fuel.
"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 wouldn’t be possible or at all or economical without a service like ours," COO Kirby Carlisle told the outlet.
While the concept of using water as space fuel is not exactly novel — scientists have been experimenting with sending H2O to space in propellant experiments since at least 2017, and both NASA and SpaceX have gotten in on the game — Argo's system (or what little they've revealed of it) does appear to be.
At least a handful of investors seem to agree. In its latest funding round, the California-based and Greek mythology-named company locked down $2 million to develop its technology.
"We are talking to all the lander and rover companies you might imagine about getting a first demo down," said Robert, the CEO of the bunch.
Until they're able to actually get up to the Moon to harvest its water, the brothers told TechCrunch that they plan to use Earth water as a propellant for their Argonaut crafts. As of now, their first demo launch is slated for the end of 2024.
It's a bold bet, but given that all three brothers worked at the company that's already doing the damn thing, the sky does appear to be the limit.
More on Moon shenanigans: SpaceX Flying Bitcoin Bounty to Moon, Where Anyone Can Grab It If They Can Get There