Since the space age began in the 1950s, the high cost has always limited access to the expanse beyond Earth’s atmosphere. For most countries, a space program has been simply out of reach.
In recent decades, the development of commercial launch systems has considerably reduced costs, allowing more state and private players to play an active role in the growing space industry. But many governments, universities, non-profits, and others still can’t afford the enormous price tag. Even NASA's Artemis program, which plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, needs to collaborate with commercial partners to pave a path to affordable and sustainable space exploration.
Leading the way to lunar logistics
NASA started its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative to help lay the foundation for human missions to the lunar surface. Through CLPS, NASA is tapping into the innovative power of commercial partners to deliver science and technology to the lunar service.
One of those partners is Astrobotic – a space robotics company seeking to make space accessible to the world. NASA has chosen Astrobotic to provide the very first commercial payload service to the Moon. With a series of contract wins from NASA, the company is also maturing its robotic CubeRover product line for future exploration on the lunar surface.
Once launched on its voyage to the Moon, Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lander will carry out the first commercial precision robotic Moon landing. Peregrine’s 28 payloads include an array of scientific instruments and exploration devices, such as the CubeRovers that will explore the Moon and transmit real-time HD images and data back to Earth. The endeavor will launch a lunar logistics service that provides a commercial gateway to the Moon.
Opening the Moon to everyone
Richard Garriott, private astronaut and son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, shares why he is sending a letter as a time capsule to the Moon in the DHL MoonBox.
Official Logistics Provider – to the Moon
DHL is joining Astrobotic on this groundbreaking journey, together with Airbus. As the mission’s Official Logistics Provider to the Moon, we’ll leverage our position as the world’s leading logistics company and use our global network and local expertise to handle the complete ground logistics of the international payloads to the launch site. Our lunar logistics services will also manage the safe and reliable transport of the precious lunar lander. With Astrobotic and Airbus, we will open a new age in human history – and ultimately the Moon to everyone, everywhere.
Exploring the lunar surface with Astrobotic
There are numerous challenges involved in the design of moon exploration vehicles. But there are also considerable opportunities in the development of technology for lunar and planetary missions. Astrobotic’s Planetary Mobility team is developing the world’s first and smallest commercial lunar rover, the CubeRover, along with medium and large lunar rovers MoonRanger and Polaris. Scientists will be able to use the CubeRover product line, the smallest about the size of a shoebox, to conduct independent research on the Moon.
Send your own memento to the Moon in the DHL MoonBox
In addition to its scientific payloads, Astrobotic’s first commercial lunar landing will also deliver the DHL MoonBox – a pod full of mementos from people all over the world. These keepsakes will be stored on the Moon as time capsules for centuries to come.
The first DHL MoonBox is full, and the manifest for Peregrine Mission 1 complete, but Astrobotic is accepting orders for future lunar missions. Sign up and forever link your most meaningful moments with the night sky.