Thursday, November 17, 2016

Astrobotic to Give NASA up to $12M in Payload Delivery to the Moon

Organizations Responding to NASA’s Lunar Payload RFI Who Book Their First Mission with Astrobotic, Will Get a Second Mission to the Moon for Free

Carolyn Pace

Pittsburgh – Astrobotic announces today a historic, new dollar for dollar matching program that will provide free payload deliveries to the Moon. For every payload selected by NASA to fly on Astrobotic’s first mission, Astrobotic will provide an additional flight to payload providers on the company’s second mission at no charge. The second mission is currently scheduled to fly in 2021, and Astrobotic will match payload reservations up to $12 million. This new cost-sharing program is in response to the agency’s RFI call for small lunar surface payloads.

“For too long, NASA’s science and exploration programs were forced to operate in a one-and-done paradigm,” said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. “Past missions to the Moon have unveiled incredible findings, but rapid follow up with additional measurement and observation was impossible. With this new public-private cost-share program, Astrobotic will speed up the pace of discovery.”

This matching program will provide scientists and engineers the opportunity to fly the same payload twice, or fly a new payload that takes advantage of findings from the first mission. This approach aligns with the nature of science and exploration investigations, which need follow-ups after new findings are uncovered.

“As the most advanced and credible lunar delivery company in the world, Astrobotic is thrilled to offer NASA and its payload partners a service that matches their needs and fundamentally improves how space science and exploration investigations get done,” said John Thornton.

This announcement comes as Astrobotic continues to work closely with its industry leading partners on the development of its Peregrine Lunar Lander. Astrobotic is the only lunar delivery company to have assembled a sophisticated and credible team of partners from the public and private sector. These partners include NASA, who is providing Astrobotic access to some of the best spacecraft engineers and facilities in the world, as part of NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program; Airbus DS, who brings world-class spacecraft experience in human spaceflight and exploration and leverages previous lander development work with the European Space Agency; Aerojet Rocketdyne, who is supplying Peregrine’s propulsion system, featuring next generation space engine technology; and Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s leading mail and logistics company, who is the “Official Logistics Provider for Astrobotic’s First Mission to the Moon.”

HT: Clive Neal

[Astrobotic Technology is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, nonprofits, and individuals. The company’s spacecraft accommodates multiple customers on a single flight, offering lunar delivery at an industry-defining price of $1.2 Million per kilogram. Astrobotic is a partner with NASA through a Space Act Agreement under the Lunar CATALYST program, and has 22 prior and ongoing NASA contracts. The company has 10 payload delivery deals in place for its first mission and dozens of customer negotiations for upcoming missions.  The company is also pursuing the Google Lunar XPRIZE with partner Carnegie Mellon University. Astrobotic was spun out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in 2007, and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.]

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