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First Black-Owned Private Rocket Company Emerges To Create More Opportunities For Inclusion In Space Exploration


Founder Mateus Chipa wants the Black community to be more involved in space exploration.

According to a Scripps News report of the 360 astronauts enlisted with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), just 18 had been Black astronauts as of Feb 5, 2024.

For Chipa, he believed that to increase representation and empowerment it would be necessary for an influential Black entrepreneur to launch a company to break down barriers. According to his website, he waited eight years for Black leaders to step forward. In frustration after that time had passed, he decided to take matters into his own hands and established Theby Space Services (TSS), a Black-owned private rocket company.

“TSS came in a place of a lot of frustration, a lot of accountability and responsibility…For the last 10 years, I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t seen any Black nation or individual talking about going in a space,” Chipa said in a video shared on YouTube. “I’ve been asking myself why? Why ain’t nobody thinking about this?”

He continued, “Every nation, every race are rushing to go into space. Almost now, every day they always China or Japan, U.S., Russia, India. There’s always news about the space. There’s always news about the private owned rocket company, but of those I never heard that one of those private companies are owned by a Black man or come from a black community or nation.”

Per the company website, TSS exists to fulfill three core missions. This includes first offering “universal space transportation for all of humanity.” Secondly, Chipa wants to extend its services to nations in Africa with satellite deployment, cargo transport, and manned missions to the moon and other areas of space.

“Our goal is to assist African countries in recognizing the significance of space exploration. By providing a cost-effective pathway to space, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and engagement with space endeavors across the continent,” the company website stated.

Furthermore, the third overarching goal remains to send a crew with all Black astronauts to the moon and eventually Mars.

A GoFundMe has been created in hopes of raising funding to support Chipa’s mission. The earnings will also contribute to the creation of two rockets, Big Hussle 33 and Nipsey Sky, named in honor of the late Nipsey Hussle. Both rockets are designed to handle the transportation of cargo and people into space.

“TSS is more than a space exploration company; it’s a call to action for the Black community and a statement to the world that we are ready to take our rightful place among the stars,” Chipa said, per his company website. “It’s a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and empowerment, ensuring that future space missions reflect the true diversity of humanity.”

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