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Space & Astronomy

Private firm set to land on the Moon in 2019

By T.K. Randall
July 27, 2017 · Comment icon 18 comments

An artist's impression of the lander on the surface of the Moon. Image Credit: Astrobotic
Astrobotic is aiming to land its unmanned Peregrine lunar lander on the surface of the Moon in two years' time.
The Pittsburgh-based firm, which bowed out of Google's Lunar XPRIZE last year, will be launching its lunar lander atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket sometime in 2019.

"Astrobotic is thrilled to select a ULA launch vehicle as the means to get Peregrine to the Moon," said CEO John Thornton. "By launching with ULA, Astrobotic can rest assured our payload customers will ride on a proven launch vehicle with a solid track record of success."

The lander will be carrying 35 kilograms of payload on its initial flight however there are plans to ramp this up significantly in the future with up to 265 kilograms of payload capacity on subsequent flights.
While Peregrine is currently set to become the first private lunar lander ever to touch down on the Moon, there is still an opportunity for one of the firm's competitors to beat it to the punch.

The biggest threat comes from the five teams currently vying to win Google's Lunar XPRIZE, a contest that is offering a $20 million prize to the first privately funded team to successfully land a rover on the Moon's surface, drive it 500 meters from the landing site and then transmit a video back to Earth.

Whether any of them will achieve this before Peregrine's 2019 mission however remains to be seen.

Source: | Comments (18)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by ShadowSot 5 years ago
Nah, that's just more evidence of the cover up. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge 5 years ago
I'm moderately of the persuasion that electrostatic discharges would center on any base planted on the moon
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast 5 years ago
And your point is?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge 5 years ago
That it would disable any communications links over time, making it a resource drain. A vital system such as communication would not be one of those where you clean your keyboard once a month, it would be as soon as damaged occurred, potentially every sunrise.
Comment icon #13 Posted by toast 5 years ago
Thats nonsense because space angencies are capable to manage electrostatic discharging issues very well for decades. Examples: Mars rover Opportunity, touchdown on Mars in 2004, communication status: active; Voyager 1+2, grilled by Saturn 35 years ago, communication status: active.    
Comment icon #14 Posted by ChrLzs 5 years ago
??  What is your 'moderate persuasion' based upon?  Do you have some specific issues from that PDF - if so, cite the pages and text. You do realise that we have sent several missions to the Moon? That we used comm's including live video and audio? - I'll grant you that they didn't do the sunrise thing, but those old comms were quite primitive, yet they all worked..) That we have a pretty good handle on the electrostatic issues during those missions and from other data collected both before and after? That dealing with electrostatics is pretty mild compared to other radiation issues? That all s... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge 5 years ago
This is informative feedback, glad I asked. I had some hangups. "Electronic stopping refers to the slowing down of a projectile ion due to the inelastic collisions between bound electrons in the medium and the ion moving through it. The term inelastic is used to signify that energy is lost during the process (the collisions may result both in excitations of bound electrons of the medium, and in excitations of the electron cloud of the ion as well). Linear electronic stopping power is identical to unrestricted linear energy trans... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by ChrLzs 5 years ago
No, it isn't.  Those links suggest you are getting very confused - Passivity???? 1. There are two types of *damaging* radiation (neither of which is directly related to electrostatics) -   - HEP (High Energy Particle) radiation, eg the Proton showers that the Sun throws out when it has a coronal mass ejection (CME) - they are what cause auroras...      - EM (electromagnetic) radiation, eg X-rays and Gamma Rays - think Chernobyl.. Both types can be quite dangerous to humans, especially if exposed over long periods, and can cause cancers, DNA damage, etc. 2. The radiation 'spectrum' also include... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge 5 years ago
So, circuits with an exposed element wont gain and lose charge every lunation causing ampere issues. Got it
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
I think this needs to be put into perspective. This is one of the missions competing for the Lunar XPrize. The aim of this prize is to stimulate the commercial use of the moon. If we were to take a look at the winner of the original XPrize, SpaceShipOne, and look at it out of context, in the same way you have with this mission, it would be easy to be underwhelmed by that too, after all SpaceShipOne really only repeated what the X15 had achieved 4 decades earlier. We could also dismiss SpaceX in the same way, after all what they do is put satellites in orbit, something government have been doin... [More]

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