Astrobotic Is Going to Use a Vulcan Rocket for Its Lunar Lander in 2021

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September 10, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: September 10 on

In May of 2019, NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) selected Astrobotic to fulfill a contract to deliver 14 payloads to the Moon by 2021. The Pittsburgh-based aerospace company plans to do this using their Peregrine Lander, a robotic lunar spacecraft that is capable of delivering payloads to the Moon for the competitive price of $1.2 million per kilogram (~$544,300 per lb).

To get the Peregrine lander and NASA’s payloads to the Moon, Astrobotic recently announced that it would be relying on United Launch Alliance (ULA) to provide launch services. ULA will do this using their next-generation heavy-lift launch system known as the Vulcan Centaur rocket, which will also be the inaugural launch of this new vehicle.

Since it was founded in 2007, Astrobotic has executed over 30 contracts (some of which are ongoing) with NASA and Airbus Defense and Space. In addition, the company is an official partner with NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) Program and received corporate sponsorship from the German courier enterprise DHL.