This microchip, carrying 27,285 names, messages, and images, is set to be carried to the Moon later this year aboard Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander.
Pittsburgh, PA –Ithaca, NY –Richmond, VA –FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOn Saturday, Major James Mathews of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) drove more than 300 miles to deliver a special microchip to space robotics company Astrobotic. This microchip, carrying 27,285 names, messages, and images, is set to be carried to the Moon later this year aboard Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander.
The US Air Force Auxiliary, CAP partnered with the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility to etch more than 27,000 CAP member names, 270 Air Force Association (AFA) StellarXplorers names, an 80th anniversary CAP logo, and messages from CAP and AFA leadership onto a microchip the size of a postage stamp. To achieve this, Cornell’s lab employed deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography, along with other nanofabrication processes, to create the 0.5” hexagonal chip.“
Among these names are more than 4,000 CAP high school cadets,” says Lt. Paul Douglas, Burke Composite Squadron’s Aerospace Education officer. “My personal hope is that our young cadets will stand in their back yards, look up at the Moon, and dream big. They’ll know if they can make it to the Moon, they can do anything.”
“Working together, we can inspire and make changes for the good. Together, we can improve our nation, our planet, and even our universe,” says Major General Mark Smith, National Commander and CEO of CAP.
With the first of many milestones completed, CAP will continue to work with Astrobotic to track the progress of the microchip. Astrobotic will place the chip inside a “MoonPod” and securely integrate it with their Peregrine lunar lander.
“It is an honor to have so many Civil Air Patrol and cadet names aboard Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One,” says Sharad Bhaskaran, Astrobotic Mission Director. “Their Aerospace Education program directly aligns with our mission as a company to make space accessible to the world and inspire the general public through space.”
Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander is poised to be the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon since the Apollo program around 50 years ago. Peregrine will fly aboard ULA’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket later this year carrying CAP’s microchip and a diverse suite of other payloads from seven different countries, dozens of science teams, and hundreds of individuals.