Space Startup To Send a Rover to the Moon on Board a SpaceX Starship
SpaceX wants to send a rover to the moon for some exploration.
Astrolabs is a space startup that has signed a contract with SpaceX. As per this contract, Astrolabs will send its rover to the moon as early as 2026. This will be on board the Starship rocket.
What Is the Rover?
Astrolabs developed the FLEX rover (Flexible Logistics and Exploration) as part of the 2200-lb payload to be delivered to the moon’s surface. This payload will be part of SpaceX’s massive super rocket and plans are expected to be executed in just about three years. Many are calling this plan ambitious as SpaceX has not yet launched its rocket into space even once.
What Is the Plan?
The plan is to get the rover as close to the south pole of the moon. As per Jaret Matthews, Astrolabs founder and CEO, the rover is optimized for the southern polar region as they believe that bulk of the activity will happen there.
Since the FLEX rover will be doing most of its work in the air, Astrolabs is ensuring the rover can navigate any future partners that will take care of the mission’s scientific activities. Astrolabs is planning to submit its proposal to NASA’s LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle) competition and see if it can become part of the Artemis missions that are scheduled for late 2020.
In 2021, Astrolabs showed off a futuristic lunar rover that looked like an astronaut stroller. The prototype was successfully tested by legendary astronaut Chris Hadfield in the Californian desert. This shows Astrolabs’ ability to build rovers suited for space tech. However, before FLEX can go to the moon, SpaceX still has to prove the viability of its towering platform. Only time will tell when that will happen.Advertisement