Astrobotic and United Launch Alliance are teaming up for a Lunar mission to put a moon lander on the surface of the moon in 2019.  This will be a private mission, and Astrobotic has already ‘signed 11 contracts with customers who want to participate in this flight’ according to representatives of the company, as reported by space.com.  

Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will launch on ULA’s Atlas V rocket.  It will carry 77 pounds of payload to the surface of the moon.  The purpose of this mission?  Well, it seems to be a mission to prove itself at first.  Let’s make sure this puppy works, and then we’ll get to making things happen.  In a statement, representatives said “Astrobotic envisions the lander eventually entering relatively frequent service, ferrying up to 585 lbs. (265 kg) at a time to the moon for a variety of customers, from government space agencies such as NASA to companies that aim to exploit lunar resources.”

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So, who knows what will happen to the moon once it’s ‘commercialized’.  It’s not certain that Astrobotic will be the first private company to land on the moon.  Five teams are currently working toward the Google Lunar X Prize which would award $20 million to the first ‘privately funded group to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon, move it at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and have it beam home high-resolution photos and imagery.’  Those teams have until December 2017 to accomplish their goals.  

The race is on.  Look out, moon.  

 

Jenny Flack
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Jenny Flack

Co-founder and Senior Contributor to Geek Girl Authority.
Actor, Improviser, Comic.
I like to like things and talk about them.
I like to pretend.
I like to make things.
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Jenny Flack
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