. ASTROBOTIC will revolutionize the Moon

. SHAKLETON ENERGY wants Moon's resources

. Construction with Regolith

1972: APOLLO 17

Note: Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo program. It was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the sixth and final lunar landing mission. The mission was launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, and concluded on December 19 of the same year.

. Cislunar Space Economy - United Launch Alliance (ULA)
. Global Exploration Roadmap (GER
. Upgradable Lunar Architecture Scenarios
. The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG)
. The China Chang'e-4 mission to the Moon will be Historical!
. Renewed focus on the Moon
. The Chinese Chang'e-5 mission will return samples from the Moon
MOON EXPRESS: Expanding earth's economic and social sphere to the Moon 
. ROCKET LAB is ready to make business
. ISPACE - Expand our planet. Expand our future
. SpaceIL of Israeli, Team INDUSSYNERGY MOON INTERNATIONAL Team HAKUTO
. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)
. Landing sites: Pit crater/lava tubesPolar RegionsSouth Pole - Aitken BasinMarius Hills, the Aristarchus plateau, Rima BodeGruithuisen Domes & Moscoviense
. Landing sites: the Orientale basin, the Schrödinger basin, Irregular MarePatches/Ina Caldera, Magnetic Anomalies and Swirls, Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Deposit (CBVD) and P60 Basaltic Unit
. Exploring the Moon surface - SOON
. The potential for volatiles in the Intercrater Highlands of the lunar North Pole
. VOLATILES AT THE LUNAR SOUTH POLE: A CASE STUDY FOR A MISSION TO AMUNDSEN CRATER
. ROSCOMOS gives OK to LUNA-25 (LUNA-GLOB)
. A Landing Site for Russia's Luna-Glob
. Tycho Crater

SHACKLETON ENERGY WANTS THE MOON'S RESOURCES

Private space companies are on the starting line to develop the Moon's resources. Some such as Shackleton Energy Company, have big and precise plans to do it.

"We Are Going Back to the Moon to Get Water. There are billions of tons of water on the poles of the Moon. We are going to extract it, turn it into rocket fuel and create fuel stations in the Earth's orbit. Just like on Earth you won't get far on a single tank of gas. What we can do in space today is straight-jacketed by how much fuel we can bring along from the Earth's surface. Our fuel stations will change how we do business in space and jump-start a multi-trillion dollar industry,says Jim Keravala, CEO and co-founder of Shackleton Energy Company Inc.

To establish fuel stations in orbit, many problems must first be solved. It is necessary to have orbital corridors clear of space junks, efficient satellites robotic servicing, many orbital and lunar hotels and Research labs. To be more independent from the Earth, we also have to be able to manufacture materials and built structures in gravity, and mine asteroids.

For Shackleton Energy, to do this at a reasonable cost, rockets offering affordable travels to orbit and access to fuel stations, are necessary.

Credit: https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com 

Until now, the biggest barrier to expand businesses off the Earth was the very high cost to go in orbit. Fortunately, in recent years, meaningful leadership and amount of capital have been invested in this part of the Rockets' industry.

People such as Elon Musk of SpaceX, Jeff Greason of XCOR, Alan Bond of Reaction Engines, Jeff Bezos of Blue Origins, Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic/The Spaceship Company or Paul Allen of Stratolauncher, all work to reduce the cost of accessibility to space.

Fuel limits what we can do and where we can go once in orbit.

It is like a trip in acar. When we go, we fill the tank with the maximum of gas. But, because we have to return home, we only go half way because we are limited by the availability of gas.

This is  why a maximum of fuel is put inside the rockets' tanks to escape the Earth's gravity. But, when payloads are launched to lower-Earth orbit (LEO), 85% of the rocket's mass is fuel! And, if it is necessary to go far, the percentage goes up, like 90% to geostationary orbit (GEO), 95% to the Moon's surface and over 98% to the surface of Mars. Once the fuel is used up, the vehicle is useless. This is a big cost for companies.

At the left, theShackleton Energy Fuel Depot. Credit: Boeing.

Concepts to refuel rockets or spacecrafts in space date back to 1970s, but no commercial organization has seriously been working on this problem, except SHACKLETON ENERGY.

Why Make Fuel with Water from the Moon?

Simply because the ice (water) can be easily split into Hydrogen and Oxygen, necessary fuel for many rockets and spacecrafts engines.

Also, the Moon is one-sixth of the Earth's size, this means we need to contend with roughly one-sixth of the Earth's gravity. Then, we need much less fuel to lift any mass off the Moon's surface. The company has calculate that, it is about 20 times cheaper to deliver water to LEO from the Moon's surface than it is to deliver it from the Earth's gravity! Shackleton Energy has turned this insight into the most comprehensive commercial space program ever created in the last 20 years.

"Bigger payloads. Space junk kept out of the way. Defunct satellites back online. Space tourism. Hotels and research labs in orbit. Mining and manufacturing in space. Space based solar power. Missions to Mars or anywhere else in our solar system. With SEC's refueling stations, all of this comes within our reach," says Jim Keravala.

Eight Years to Full Operations!

WRemember that, the $100 billion Apollo program put the first man on the Moon in 7 years. Shackleton Energy wants to put a team within 8 years, and provide millions of tonnes of fuel and water for space's customers. That will lay the foundation for space settlement for approximately one-tenth of the cost of Apollo. First revenues are expected within 4 years of program start and full break-even within 12 years.

What is the Program?

In the First year, the Phase One will start with the Planning where the technical and architectural designs are conceived. At this stage, the company has customers' engagements and pre-sales of propellant. Shackleton Energy will spend three years in this initial conception design.

At the Second Phase, in the Fourth year, a Robotic lunar polar prospecting mission will be sent to identify the best mining locations for the Ice and built the operational base.

Once the robotic mission is over, the company will move to Phase Three lasting two years. In this phase, Shackleton Energy will develop, construct and deploy spacecrafts' prototypes and initial human operations.

After six years, the program will be in its Final Phase. At the end of this phase,  human Lunar operations and the propellant supply chain to customers will be ready for Business. 

SHACKLETON ENERGY and ZAPTEC want to develop drilling and power solutions for operations on the Moon


Credit: Shackleton Energy

Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) and Zaptec signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore how technology originally developed by Zaptec for the Norwegian oil & gas sector can be repurposed to create lightweight power infrastructure to extract water from the Moon. LEARN MORE @ SHACKLETON ENERGY

 

 

 

LUNAR CATALYST

Because of past success with the U.S. commercial space industry, and the growing interest to reach and explore the Moon, NASA continues its partnership with the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) program.  Through this program, NASA selected three partners in 2014 to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the surface of the Moon.

With this no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreement (SAA) partnership with Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, PA., Masten Space Systems Inc. of Mojave, CA. and Moon Express Inc., of Cape Canaveral, FLA, NASA will not only develop capabilities that could lead to a commercial robotic spacecraft landing on the Moon, but also enable possible new science and exploration missions of interest to themand the broader scientific and academic communities. LEARN MORE about CATALYST

XL-1: Efficient Lunar Lander is a robust Lunar delivery system for customer payloads . LEARN MORE

The PEREGRINE LANDER do orbit and surface operations at any Lunar destination.  LEARN MORE JUST BELOW

Moon Express will use their MX family and scalable spacecraft systems to reach theMoon and other destinations from Earth orbit. LEARN MORE 

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM GOOGLE LUNAR XPRIZE

After close consultation with our five finalist Google Lunar XPRIZE teams over the past several months, we have concluded that no team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 31st, 2018 deadline. The grand prize of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE will go unclaimed. However, the competition has provided a incredible boost for the space industry... and, new players are now on the line to provide services to oron the Moon.  

Clockwise from back left: Moon Express (U.S.A.), SpaceIL (Israel), Hakuto (Japan), Synergy Moon (international), and TeamIndus (India)

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.

To win the XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth, before the mission deadline od March 31, 2018.

Learn more @ http://lunar.xprize.org/

The complete list of historic missions to the moon, here. 

https://moon.nasa.gov/exploration/moon-missions/
 
 

FACTS

Distance from Earth is 384,400 km (238,855 miles) . Its Orbit Period is 27.32 Earth days . Its Orbit Eccentricity is 0.05490 orbit (Circular Orbit = 0) . The inclination to Ecliptic is 5.145 degree (deg), of Equator to orbit is 6.68 deg . Its rotation period is 27.32 Earth days . Equatorial radius is 1,737.4 km (1,079.6 mi) . Mass is 0.0123 of Earth's . Density is 3.341 g/cm3 (0.61 of Earth's) . Gravity is 0.166 of Earth's . Temperature Range between (Max) 110 °C/230 °F and -170 °C/-274 °F.

The Moon was first visited by the U.S.S.R.’s Luna 1 and 2 in 1959, and a number of U.S. and U.S.S.R. robotic spacecraft followed.The U.S. sent three classes of robotic missions to prepare the way for human exploration: the Rangers (1961–1965) were impact probes, the Lunar Orbiters (1966–1967) mapped the surface to find landing sites, and the Surveyors (1966–1968) were soft landers.

The first human landing on the Moon was on July 20, 1969. During the Apollo missions of 1969–1972, 12 American astronauts walked on the Moon and used a Lunar Roving Vehicle to travel on the surface and extend their studies of soil mechanics, meteoroids, lunar ranging, magnetic fields, and solar wind. The Apollo astronauts brought back 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of rock and soil to Earth for study.

After a long hiatus, lunar exploration resumed in the 1990s with the U.S. robotic missions Clementine and Lunar Prospector. Results from both missions suggested that water ice might be present at the lunar poles, but a controlled impact of the Prospector spacecraft produced no observable water.

TheBasalt, a mafic extrusive rock, is the most widespread of all igneous rocks, and comprises more than 90% of all volcanic rocks –it is commonly found on the Moon and Mars.

Typical properties of normal strength Portland cement concrete are: 

  • Compressive strength : ~20 -40 MPa (~3000 -6000 psi)

Typical properties of Basalt rock are: 

  • Compressive strength : ~144 -292 MPa (20,885 –42,351 psi)

Basalt rock can be 4-7 X stronger in compression than normal Portland cement concrete typically used on Earth.

Lunar Regolith Definition: Superficial layer covering the entire lunar surface ranging in thickness from meters to tens of meters formed by impact process –physical desegregation of larger fragments into smaller ones over time.

Moon Resources-Regolith: Ilmenite -15% / Pyroxene -50% / Olivine -15% / Anorthite-20% / Water (almost >1000 ppm) / Deposit by Solar Wind: Hydrogen (50 -100 ppm), Carbon (100 -150 ppm), Nitrogen (50 -100 ppm), Helium (3 -50 ppm) & 3He (4 -20 ppb).

So, we have Oxygen, the most abundant element on the Moon because it constitute approx. 42% of the regolith, Solar wind put many volatile elements on the surface but at low concentrations, Metals and silicon are abundant and, Water may surely available at poles.

 Some Regolith Resources can be used for:     

       Lunar oxygen: propellant, life support

  • Iron, aluminum, titanium: structural elements

  • Magnesium: less strong structural elements

  • Regolith: sintered blocks, concrete, glass

  • Water: Ice blocks, molded ice

Reference: Construction with Regolith / CLASS / SSERVI / FSI /The Technology and Future of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) / A Capstone Graduate Seminar, Orlando, FL, March 6, 2017 / Robert P. Mueller, Senior Technologist / Engineer, NASA, Kennedy Space Center –Swamp Works.

Potential Applications:

  • Structural beams, rods, plates, cables

  • Cast shapes for anchors, fasteners, bricks, flywheels, furniture

  • Solar cells, wires for power generation and distribution

  • Pipes and storage vessels for fuel, water, and other fluids

  • Roads, foundations, shielding

  • Spray coatings or linings for buildings

  • Powdered metals for rocket fuels, insulation

  • Fabrication in large quantities can be a difficult engineering problem in terms of materials handling and heat dissipation

Almost 50 years since man first walked on the lunar surface, the head of the European Space Agency explains his vision for living and working on the Moon. Johann-Dietrich Woerner believes the next giant leap for humankind could be an international collaboration of space faring nations in the form of a Moon village. This village would be a permanent lunar base for science, business, tourism or even mining. Credit: European Space Agency, ESA - Published on 22 Mar 2016.

The moon is a place that humans have speculated about from a far. Many have been intrigued by its mysterious presence in our solar system, but only a select few have had the chance to explore it. The team at Astrobotic are changing that. At Astrobotic, they send packages and robots to the moon for exploration, scientific, and marketing purposes. Now countries and companies have a “pathway” to the moon. Credit: HP


The Moon Express MX family of flexible, scalable robotic explorers are capable of reaching the Moon and other solar system destinations from Earth orbit. The MX spacecraft architecture supports multiple applications, including delivery of scientific and commercial payloads to the Moon at low cost using a rideshare model, to science expeditions to distant worlds. Credit: Moon Express - Published on 15 Jul 2017.

Bigelow Aerospace & United Launch Alliance have an agreement to push for the creation of an orbiting Lunar Depot. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace - Published on  Oct. 17, 2017.


 
 
 

ASTROBOTIC & UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE (ULA) ANNOUNCE MISSION TO THE MOON FOR 2019

JULY 26, 2017

Rust Belt Company, Astrobotic selects ULA to launch its Peregrine Lander in 2019 for lunar mission 50 years after Apollo 11.

The Peregrine Lunar Lander will fly 35 kg of customer payloads on its first mission, with the option to upgrade to 265 kg on future missions.  Already 11 deals from 6 nations have been signed for this 2019 mission.  The first mission in 2019 will serve as a key demonstration of service for NASA, international space agencies, and companies looking to carry out missions to the Moon.

The company’s spacecraft accommodates multiple customer payloads on a single flight, offering a low price of $1.2M/kg. Astrobotic is an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST program, has 23 prior and ongoing NASA contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, a corporate sponsorship with DHL, 11 deals for its first mission to the Moon, and 110 customer payloads in the pipeline for upcoming missions.

United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 115 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid for meteorologists in tracking severe weather, it also provides personal device-based GPS navigation and unlocks the mysteries of our solar system. 

Landers and Rovers. Credit: Astrobotic

*LUNAR CATALYST PARTNER*

 ASTROBOTIC WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE  MOON

Astrobotic is contracting payloads to Trans-Lunar Insertion (TLI), Lunar Orbit, and Surface on the Moon at Lacus Mortis for its First Mission . 

Target Landing Site: Lacus Mortis, 45°N 25°E

Lacus Mortis is a basaltic plain in the northeastern region of the Moon. A plateau there serves as the target landing site.

Local Landing Time: 55-110 Hours After Sunrise
A Lunar day, from sunrise to sunset on the Moon, is equivalent to 354 Earth hours or approximately 14 Earth days.

Credit: ASTROBOTIC, Payload User Guide, Mission One

CHOOSE YOUR MISSION PARAMETERS & ESTIMATE YOUR COST!

Up to 300 kg payload mass can be delivered to the Lunar surface or to a specific orbit. It will cost $1.2M/kg for the landing on the surface, $2M/kg on the rover or, if a full custom mission is needed, the price varies between $110M to more than $150M. Payloads can be Scientific Instruments, Satellites & Rovers, Research & Development, Brand Promotion, DATA, Art, Social & Educational. It is possible to pay less for the mission if the Infrastructure is shared with other customers.

The PEREGRIME lander

ABOVE DECK

BELOW DECK

PEREGRINE ACCOMMODATES A WIDE RANGE OF PAYLOAD TYPES INCLUDING LUNAR SATELLITES, ROVERS, INSTRUMENTS, AND ARTIFACTS.

Mounting locations are available above and below the 4 aluminum lander decks, and include avionics and electronics. All the structure can be modified to accommodate payload with a weight of up to 265 kg. 

For Mission One (M1), the lander with a diameter of 2.5 m and a height of 1.9 m, will have a payload capacity of 35 kg and a dry mass of 290 kg.

A releasable clamp band mates the Peregrine to the launch vehicle and allows it to separate prior to its travel to the Moon. Also, the Peregrine recommends using a Hold Down and Release Mechanism (HDRM) to unfold every payload, when necessary.

Customers cannot use pyrotechnic, create excessive debris or impart shocks greater than 20 g's on the lander. 

With its Peregrine lander, Astrobotic provides power and power signal services to the electrical connector. However, customers are responsible for integrating the release mechanism into their payload designs and interfacing it correctly with these provided services.

LUNAR SERVICE FOR COMPANIES, GOVERNMENTS, UNIVERSITIES, NON-PROFITS, AND INDIVIDUALS.

Mission Configuration: https://www.astrobotic.com/configure-mission

The mission-target chosen can be a lunar orbit, a land on the Moon or a delivery by the rover to a specific location on the lunar surface. For the payload, details such as mass (kg) and size (mm) are needed as well as the length, the width, the height or height X diameter. For the lunar surface, the payload can be hosted on the lander, or deployed to the surface. Does the payload need Communication, Power and/or Thermal control? Finally, it is necessary to give a Name to the Mission and a short description.

An example of cost/kg: If a Band Promotion to be landing on the lunar surface is chosen , the cost will be $1.2M + $50K for theInitial Communication + $50K for the Initial Power. 

LUNAR ORBIT OR LUNAR SURFACE: $1,200,000 / kg - DELIVERY ON ROVER: $2,000,000 / kg

For every kilogram of payload, the Peregrine provides: 0.5 Watt of POWER (additional power can be purchased at $225,000 / W) and 2.8 kbps BANDWIDTH (additional bandwidth can be purchased at $30,000 / kbps).

Note: Limited bandwidth "heartbeat" data will be available throughout the cruise to the Moon.

NOTE: Payloads less than 1 kg may be subject to integration fees. And, if a payload is too expensive? The  MoonBox service on Astrobotic’s website, offers prices starting at $460.

On flight, the spacecraft stores energy with 28 Volts lithium-ion space-grade battery, which gives a capacity of 840 W/h. The power is distributed to all subsystems by the lander. The battery is used during engine burns and attitude maneuvers.

Also, the battery is charged by a solar array panel of 1.9 m2, giving 540 W of power. This solar array maintains operational surface activities.

The GaInP/GaAs/Ge triple junction material, WTJ solar cell, has been usedin orbital and deep space missions.

The Flight Computer used for missions is designed and developed by Astrobotic. It consists of a high-performance safety micro-controller with dual CPUs running in Lockstep for error and fault checking.

A rad-hard watchdog timer serves as an additional fault check and error prevention. The computer has been tested in radiation, temperature, shock, and vacuum conditions to ensure the functionality remains nominal for the longer projected mission timeline.

The primary flight computer performs all command and data handling of the spacecraft. It gathers input from the Navigation, and Control (GNC) flight sensors and issues corresponding commands to the propulsion control units. Additionally, it cooperates with the payload controller to ensure safe operation of the payloads throughout the mission.

Payload CPU Design: Xilinx Zync-7020; Clock Speed: 766 Mhz; Safety features: EDAC, TMR, Watchdogs

 

With the help of the solar array pointing towards the sun, the GNC Peregrine System can orients the spacecraft throughout all the mission. Specifically, some inputs received from the star tracker, sun sensors and the gyros, give the possibility to the spacecraft to make orbital and trajectory corrections maneuvers, if needed. Also, during the trip to the Moon, the Earth-based station gives the position and velocity states estimates to the spacecraft.

A radar altimeter provides velocity information to guide the spacecraft to maintain a 2.5 m/s powered descent and a landing of about 600 seconds. The radar altimeter used by Astrobotic is a flight software tested in the NASA TRICK/JEOD simulation suite.

On the left: The Honeywell radar altimeter array prototype

The PEREGRINE LUNAR LANDER supports operations with power services throughout the cruise to the Moon and on the lunar surface. The main power interface used is 0.5 Watt (W) / kg of payload with nominal power. The power line is regulated and switched at a Voltage in direct current (Vdc) of 28 +/- 0.5 and, to activate the release mechanism, the peak power signal for 60 s is 30 W.  

Astrobotic provides power services only via the electrical connector while the payload is attached to the lander. After the release from the lander, customers wanting to unfold their payloads will have to take full control of their own power consumption and generation system.

THE BANDWIDTH SERVICES

Nominal bandwidth services on the lunar surface as well as access to high-speed data premium communication services are provided by the Peregrine. Again, services are only available via the electrical connector while the payload is attached to the lander. However, the wireless bandwidth services will be provided only when operations are on the lunar surface.

The main features of the data interface are 2.8 kbps per kilogram of payload nominal bandwidth - a serial RS-422 wired communication using HDLC - an Ethernet high-speed data wired communication using TCP/IP - and, a 2.4 GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi radio wireless communication using TCP/IP.

FOR PARTICULAR MISSIONS, A TRANSPARENT LINK OF COMMUNICATION CAN BE PROVIDED BETWEEN THE CUSTOMER AND ITS PAYLOAD.

The Astrobotic Mission Control Center (AMCC) forwards customer commands and payload data between the individual Payload Mission Control Centers (PMCCs) and the SSC. In addition, Astrobotic will provide the payload customer with general spacecraft telemetry and health information.

Communication between the customer and its payload will nominally take approximately 3 seconds one-way.

Premium laser communication services will be directed through an alternate communication chain utilizing the Atlas Space Operations laser communications terminal on board the Peregrine Lunar Lander and ground stations on Earth.

ORBIT & DESCENT

Five engines, with 440 N thrust each, serve as the spacecraft’s main engines for all major maneuvers including trans-lunar injection, trajectory correction, lunar orbit insertion, and powered descent. Twelve thrusters, with

20 N thrust each, make up the Attitude Control System (ACS) to maintain spacecraft orientation throughout the mission. The system uses a MMH/MON-25 fuel and oxidizer combination.

The UNPOWERED DESCENT is between 100 km to 15 km. The Peregrine coasts after an orbit-lowering maneuver, using only attitude thrusters to maintain orientation.

The POWERED DESCENT is between 15 km to 2 km  - it begins when the main engines are pulsed continuously to slow down the Peregrine.

At the TERMINAL DESCENT, between 2 km to 300 m - the altimeter and star tracker inform the targeted guidance activity about the landing site point.

TERMINAL DESCENT NADIR - the Peregrine descends vertically from 300 m and decelerates to constant velocity at an altitude of 30 m until touchdown.

MISSION SUPPORT FOR SURFACE OPERATIONS

Following a successful touchdown, the operational mode for surface activities is activated on the Lunar Lander. At this moment, the excess of propellant is vented for safety, the craft communicates with the Earth-based platform and performs a system check.  With the power and communication provided to the payload for approximately 8 Earth days of lunar operations, any necessary system diagnostic checks and firmware or software updates can be done. The payload's customer charges its batteries with the power of the Lander. 

On-board radios allow the customer to power up its payload and go to mission mode. At this moment, a diagnostic check is done to verify the internal power sources and the wireless communication.  At the customer's request, Astrobotic can command its lander to send a release signal to the payload by its electrical connector.

The Peregrine discontinues all payload services andtransitions to hibernation mode before the onset of lunar night.

Source & Reference: Astrobotic User Guide & www.Astrobotic.com

Learn More Next Page about:

*LUNAR  CATALYST PARTNER*

EXPANDING THE EARTH'S ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SPHERES TO THE MOON

And more news about X-PRIZE's finalists Teams: SpaceIl, Synergy International, HAKUTO, Indus, and more...

Astrobotic's Team and Project Members explain Technology's vision for commercial lunar exploration.

DHL - Official Logistics Provider for Astrobotic's will provide logistics services for the spacecraft and its customer payloads, making sure that all materials for the new lunar lander as well as the 'space freight' will arrive safe and on time to begin their journey to the Moon

THE GRIFFIN LANDER

GRIFFIN, a Lander of 4.5m X 1.6m. Credit: Astrobotic

Griffin gives a flexible path that can accommodate a variety of rovers and other payloads to support robotic missions like skylight exploration, sample return, regional prospecting, and polar volatile characterization.

For specific mission, autonomous landing uses cameras, IMU, and LIDAR to safely land Griffin within 100m of any targeted landing site you choose.

The lander have a Stout, stiff and simple aluminum frame for an easy integration of payload. Its main deck accommodates flexible payload mounting on a regular bolt pattern and four legs absorb shock and stabilize Griffin during touchdown on the Moon. To egress out the lander, the Rover uses deck-mounted ramps.

For customers' purposes, data are available about the qualification of the lander's structure for launch loads through vibration testing.

Specifically, Griffin's mechanical interface options accommodate a wide range of payload morphologies. Alternate mounting locations are available as a non-standard service.

The Lunar Mission will be provided by SPACE X on its Falcon 9. The vehicle can carry a 663 kg payload mass to TLI, 515 kg payload mass to lunar orbit and 270 kg payload mass to lunar surface.

Griffin has four tanks surrounding a main thruster, for a fuel mass of 1,685 kg. Four clusters of altitude control thrusters orient the craft. The main engine is concentric with the spacecraft central axis and performs capture, de-orbit, brake, and decent. Credit: Astrobotic

The Griffin lander uses off-the-shelf sensors and common algorithms for navigation during cruise and orbit. It determines position and altitude from radio time-of-flight, Doppler, sun sensor, star tracker, and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).

On approach to the Moon, Griffin switches to the Astrobotic Auto landing System, which uses proprietary techniques for precision navigation. Computer vision algorithms compare images from the lander's cameras with high- resolution NASA lunar surface images to determine the craft's position and altitude. As the craft is near the surface, it uses laser sensors to construct a 3D surface model of the landing zone. It detects slopes, rocks, and other hazards and autonomously maneuvers to a safe landing.

WHAT IS THE MOONBOX?

Through the Astrobotic first launch,  the company DHL will offer a service of delivery for anybody who wants to ship something to the Moon. This service is the  called MOONBOX.  

After the landing on the surface, MOONBOX™ participants will receive images and videos of the Moon Pod attached to the Astrobotic's lander. 

These photos will be the official record of your permanent commemoration on the Moon and can be shared with countless generations to come.

Wedding flower petal, Scout badge, Pet tag, Baby's fingerprint, Company logo, Heirloom ring, Signature, Family photo, Cufflinks, Sand from a favorite beach, Piece of a graduation tassel, Fraternity or sorority pin, Love note are  ITEMS SUGGESTED for the MOONBOX of DHL.

The First mission of ASTROBOTIC is to deliver payloads to the Moon for governments, companies, universities, non-profits organizations, and individuals.

For now, Astrobotic's Partnerships' Announcements are Agencia Espagnol Mexicana-AEM, Lunar Dream Time Capsule-Astroscale, Memorial Space Flight services-ELYSIUM Space, Lunar Rover Delivery-Google Lunar X Prize Official team, Mementos To The Moon-DHL MoonBox, Lunar Mission One, Lunar River Delivery-AngelicvM, Memory Of Mankind on the Moon-PULL Space Technologies & ATLAS Space Operations, Inc.

Astrobotic is an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST program, has 24 prior and ongoing NASA contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, a corporate sponsorship with DHL, 11 deals for its first mission to the Moon, and 130 customer payloads in the pipeline for upcoming missions. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.