Kees Mulder, the CEO of Netherlands-based startup, SpaceLife Origin, is calling it quits for now. The company had planned on birthing the first baby in space by 2024, but now Mulder has declared on the company’s website that he’s suspending operations.
“As result of new insights related to critical business topics, I have decided to put my executive responsibilities as CEO of SpaceLife Origin voluntarily on hold. I will maintain and protect all my applicable contractual, ownership and legal IP rights.
Resulting legal related actions are currently subject of investigation,” said Mulder on the SpaceLife Origin website.
“Serious ethical, safety and medical concerns related to Missions Lotus & Cradle are preventing me personally any longer from accepting any associations with and responsibilities for those two specific Missions involving ’embryos, pregnant women and baby’s in space.’ In short: ‘Better safe than sorry’ so I need to distance myself from these missions.”
In addition to citing business reasons for the suspension of operations, Mulder also said, “Due to a serious and unrepairable breach of trust with Mr. Egbert Edelbroek, I have ended the relationship with him.”
Mulder’s LinkedIn account lists him as a former vice president at Kodak. The initial message from the company was pretty ambitious, stating, “If humanity wants to become a multi-planetary species, we also need to learn how to reproduce in space.”
For now, that dream is on hold.
Cover image via SpaceLife Origin