Astrobotic And United Launch Alliance Announce Mission To The Moon

The Peregrine Lander will deliver payloads to lunar orbit and the lunar surface. Image Credit: Astrobotic

July 26, 2017 – Astrobotic and United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today that Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander will launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket in 2019, during the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

The Peregrine Lander will deliver payloads to lunar orbit and to the Moon’s surface. The Peregrine Lunar Lander will fly 35 kilograms of customer payloads on its first mission, with the option to upgrade to 265 kilograms on future missions.

“We are thrilled that Astrobotic has selected ULA to launch the Peregrine Lander to the Moon,” said ULA president and CEO, Tory Bruno. “The Moon is the next great frontier, but in a different way than when Neil Armstrong landed there. Enabling technologies like those from Astrobotic will allow people to live and work in the space between here and the Moon and take advantage of all those resources in a way that is sustainable.”

This announcement comes as Astrobotic continues to advance Peregrine toward flight, with the preliminary design review of the vehicle having taken place in November 2016.

“Astrobotic is thrilled to select a ULA launch vehicle as the means to get Peregrine to the Moon,” said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. “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. Together, our two organizations will honor the past and trail blaze the lunar future.”

This effort is a big step in realizing Astrobotic’s goal of creating a Rust Belt based international gateway to the Moon. Already 11 deals from six 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.

“Technical credibility and signed deals remain key differentiators for Astrobotic as a lunar delivery company. Our customers and partners know that our 10 years of lunar lander development work has made us the world leader in this market,” said Thornton.

ULA joins a world-class team of mission partners led by Astrobotic. These partners include NASA, who is providing Astrobotic access to some of the best spacecraft engineers and facilities in the world, as part of NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program; Airbus DS, who brings world-class spacecraft experience in human spaceflight and exploration and leverages previous lander development work with the European Space Agency; and Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s leading mail and logistics company, who is the “Official Logistics Provider for Astrobotic’s First Mission to the Moon.”