November 29, 2018 – Astrobotic has been competitively selected to be a delivery provider of NASA payloads to the Moon on the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract. Through CLPS, Astrobotic will be a 10-year provider of delivery services for NASA payloads to the Moon. The selection was announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
As part of NASA’s plan to return to the Moon, CLPS is leveraging existing private sector services like Astrobotic to deliver their cargo shipments to the Moon. CLPS will enable the first NASA payloads to be soft-landed on the lunar surface since the Apollo Program, and open a new era in science and exploration with regular commercial deliveries of uncrewed payload to the lunar surface.
“We are humbled by this selection to return America to the Moon. Astrobotic has steadily developed our lunar delivery service with a methodical, technically sound lander program validated by world-class company partners like ULA, Dynetics, and Airbus DS. Our focus on delivering for the payload market has enabled our world- leading position with 12-signed deals to date. It is gratifying to now receive this validation from the most accomplished space agency in the world.” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. “We are eager to add NASA to our existing manifest of commercial customers, and get America back on the surface as soon as possible.”
Under the CLPS program, Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander is poised to serve as America’s workhorse robotic lander, delivering up to 265 kilograms of payload on each mission. With Peregrine’s robust delivery capacity, the lunar surface is open to NASA and the commercial market for resource prospecting, planetary science investigations, technology maturation, and other activities. Robotic CLPS payload deliveries on Peregrine will be a vital bridge to a future human return to the Moon, and an important capability in NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration campaign. By working in concert with NASA’s Gateway, Orion, and Space Launch System, Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will help enable a dynamic public-private future on the Moon.
“This is a pivotal moment for our company and most importantly, our country. Astrobotic was built for this opportunity, and we stand ready to lead America back to the Moon.” said Thornton.
Astrobotic and United Launch Alliance announced a partnership in 2017. Under that agreement, Astrobotic planned to launch the Peregrine Lunar Lander on a ULA Atlas V rocket in 2019, during the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.