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Elon Musk's SpaceX is buying a company that makes parachutes for spacecraft for $2.2 million

SpaceX parachute
A SpaceX dragon capsule splashes down after a successful mission in 2020.NASA/Bill Ingalls
  • SpaceX is buying parachute maker Pioneer Aerospace, The Information first reported.

  • Elon Musk's rocket firm will pay $2.2 million to rescue Pioneer after its parent company went bankrupt.

  • SpaceX is preparing to help NASA send astronauts to the moon for the first time in over 50 years.

SpaceX is snapping up a parachute company as it prepares to help NASA return to the moon.

Elon Musk's spacecraft manufacturer is buying Pioneer Aerospace, which makes the parachutes that help the company's Dragon rockets return to Earth. According to a Florida bankruptcy filing, SpaceX will pay $2.2 million for Pioneer — whose parent company recently filed for bankruptcy. The Information was first to report the news.

It's a rare acquisition for SpaceX, and the first since it paid a reported $524 million for satellite startup Swarm in 2021 in a move that expanded its Starlink satellite network.

Pioneer, which was founded in 1938, has provided parachutes for a number of SpaceX and NASA missions, including multiple crewed flights to the International Space Station and the "Osiris Rex" mission that brought back samples from a 4.6 billion-year-old asteroid to Earth.

It comes as SpaceX prepares to play a vital role in NASA's return to the moon, with the space agency planning to use the company's reusable Starship rocket system to carry astronauts to the moon in 2025 for the first time since 1972.

SpaceX first has to get the Starship to launch without blowing up, however.

The second test flight of the most powerful rocket ever built ended in another fireball earlier this month, despite the spacecraft successfully separating from its booster.

Musk has grand plans for Starship beyond traveling back to the moon, with the SpaceX boss previously saying that the rocket system will one day ferry passengers anywhere on the planet in an hour and carry human settlers to Mars.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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