Opportunity Advances Private Sector Moon Landing Capabilities
Pittsburgh – Astrobotic Technology, Inc. has been selected by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program to test the navigation technology that will guide Astrobotic’s first commercial soft landing on the Moon. Astrobotic was selected for a flight on Masten Space Systems’ suborbital reusable launch vehicle.
In June 2014, Astrobotic demonstrated visual navigation with a prototype of the Astrobotic Autolanding System on the Masten Xombie rocket. Subsequent development has ruggedized cameras and computing for flight. This Flight Opportunities award enables testing of the flight configuration in an environment similar to what Astrobotic’s lander will experience when soft landing on the Moon.
The test campaign is expected to occur in late 2015.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our team to demonstrate the reliability of our soft landing system,” said Kevin Peterson, Chief Technology Officer for Astrobotic. “The rocket environment provided by this opportunity is the best analog on Earth to a lunar landing. We look forward to testing the system in preparation for our first mission.”
This is the second Flight Opportunities award for Astrobotic. In 2014, Astrobotic was selected for three test flights where Astrobotic successfully demonstrated the visual navigation and hazard detection technologies.
Astrobotic Technology Inc. is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits and individuals. Astrobotic’s spacecraft accommodates multiple customers on a single flight, offering flexibility at an industry-defining low price. Astrobotic is a NASA contractor, and is also an official partner with NASA on the Lunar CATALYST program. With its partner, Carnegie Mellon University, Astrobotic is pursuing the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE and is planning to launch the first mission in the second half of 2016. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit https://www.astrobotic.com.