Astrobotic announced today during the spring Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) its purchase of launch services aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket for its third upcoming lander mission to the Moon. This mission will launch an Astrobotic lander to the Moon’s South Pole in 2026 to deliver payload customer instruments and cargo from around the world.
The lunar south pole is an area of increasing interest and planned activity, and Astrobotic is rising to meet the demand for missions to this key destination with the purchase of a Falcon Heavy to deliver medium-class payloads.
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“NASA’s Artemis program is a major effort to establish a U.S. presence at the lunar south pole, and at the same time, international customers are also lining up plans to pioneer new science, exploration, and commercial activities within this region as well,” said Astrobotic CEO, John Thornton. “With all this rising interest, we felt now is the time to announce our next commercial mission to deliver hundreds of kilograms of payload to the lunar south pole.”
This next mission lands at an area of intense interest for science instruments, technology demonstrators, rovers, power systems, and other infrastructure. Astrobotic plans to carry lunar surface payloads, as well as offer satellite deployments for those looking to deploy to other destinations in cislunar space.
“This third mission represents our next step toward making the Moon an accessible destination for those who have sophisticated, long term plans for the south pole,” said Thornton.
Astrobotic’s third lunar mission is targeted to launch in 2026 aboard a Falcon Heavy from SpaceX’s facilities in Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Astrobotic is the Moon company and more. We develop advanced navigation, operation, power, testing, and computing systems for spacecraft. Our fleet of lunar landers and rovers deliver payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits, and individuals. To date, we have two fully funded lunar lander missions on the books, and more than 60 prior and ongoing NASA and commercial technology contracts worth upwards of $350 million. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. www.astrobotic.com
By Keith Cowing
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