The program involved vast contracts for civilian companies. One of its primary beneficiaries was ArcJet Systems, accepted in August 2075 as the contractor for the propulsion and communications systems. ArcJet did, in fact, start work on the XMB booster engine before securing the contract.
This gamble paid off and allowed them to promise delivery at least a year before the launch date. To accomplish this feat, the company siphoned Dr. Rory McClellan away from his military contracting job, believing that his aptitude with nuclear propulsion systems would leave them with time to spare. They were correct, managing to complete the first functional booster in December 2075, with just four months' delay and despite losing employees to the draft. At least two technicians, Rand and Janowski, were drafted into the military during their work on the XMB project.
The other project of the company involved the Deep Range Transmitter, a highly advanced radio communications system designed to enable interplanetary communications. Although preliminary work was completed, culminating in the creation of a working unit, a scientist reassigned away from XMB fuel mixture work managed to boost its communications range by 70% inside three weeks, allowing the USSA's ship to ping a signal back and forth within ten minutes, while eventually managing to reduce the unit's size by half to match the target volume.
However, the entire project was eventually delayed due to "unrest overseas" in 2077 and would never be fully realized because of its culmination in the form of the Great War. The day after the Great War, Hans Memling, former CTO of ArcJet, reminisced on where he would be if not for Vault 96, mentioning that he may have been the one to dig Thomas Reinhardt out of the Mars Shot hole.
The Mars Shot Project is mentioned in Fallout 4.
- ArcJet Systems terminal entries; CEO's terminal, Mars Shot Project notes 08-2075
- ArcJet Systems terminal entries; CEO's terminal, Mars Shot Project notes 09-2075
- Discarded ArcJet worklog
- ArcJet Systems terminal entries; lab terminal, lab report - Deep Range Transmitter 02
- ArcJet Systems terminal entries; CEO's terminal, Mars Shot Project notes 09-2077
- Vault 96 terminal entries; Engineering workstation; Personal Logs; Personal Log - 10/24/77
- Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Rulebook p.235: "Although most people either don’t know Mars Shot existed, or assume it was abandoned in the Great War, a few believe the project continued or was even accelerated. What, after all, would be a better move than to get off-planet in the days the planet almost died?
It’s possible a few dozen or hundred humans live on Mars, in the lap of high-tech luxury, sparing their suffering Earthling brothers and sisters little thought. If that is so, it’s possible ArcJet’s deep-range transmitter could contact them for one reason or another."