Astrobotic Takes the Veil Off Nearly Complete Peregrine Lunar Lander

Atrobotic unveils Peregrine lunar lander 6 photos
Photo: Astrobotic via Twitter
Atrobotic unveils Peregrine lunar landerAtrobotic unveils Peregrine lunar landerAtrobotic unveils Peregrine lunar landerPeregrine lunar landerAtrobotic's Moonshot Museum
Apollo 17 was the last crewed mission on the lunar surface. That was five decades ago. Now, NASA plans to return to the Moon, and it will do it with the launch of the Artemis program. In preparation for Artemis, NASA has selected several companies to develop new technologies that will pave the way for humanity's return to the satellite.
Through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, the space agency is working with nine American companies on delivery services to the Moon. One of them is the Pittsburgh-based Atrobotics, which was awarded in 2019 a contract valued at $79.5 million to carry 11 NASA payloads to the lunar surface for a 10-year term.

To get these scientific payloads to the Moon, Astrobotic designed Peregrine, a small-class lunar lander that's set to be the first American spacecraft to land on the satellite since the Apollo program. The company unveiled today (April 20) the nearly complete spacecraft at its Moonshot Museum, which is expected to open its doors for visitors this summer.

It will be the first museum in Pittsburg dedicated exclusively to space exploration, and its main attraction will be a clean room with clear windows that will allow people to see all sorts of spacecraft, including the Peregrine lunar lander.

Currently, the nearly two-meter-tall (six-foot-tall) vehicle is under development. It still needs to have a propulsion system installed, as well as solar panels and several key elements in order to be able to make it to the Moon. Once completed, Peregrine will launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rocket and will carry payloads about the size of a shoebox.

But Peregrine is not the only spacecraft that the company is working on. NASA has awarded Astrobotic $199.5 million to deliver the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) in 2023. VIPER is a robot that will search for water at the Moon's South Pole in preparation for the first crewed flights that will take place in 2024 as part of the Artemis program.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Florina Spînu
Florina Spînu profile photo

Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories