SpaceX will launch the Astrolab FLEX rover in 2026
In a collaboration to transport the Astrolab FLEX Rover to the Moon, SpaceX has teamed up with Astrolab as the startup signed a contract to reserve a spot on one of the spacecraft manufacturer’s Starships. The Starship will then be used to carry the FLEX to the lunar surface as early as 2026.
When this mission has concluded, the Astrolab FLEX rover will be the biggest and most powerful rover to ever visit the Moon. The rover is more than three times heavier than its biggest predecessor, with a maximum combined load of more than two tons for the rover plus cargo. This expanded capability opens up a lot more possibilities for commercial and scientific activities on the lunar surface.
“Our Astrolab team has created much more than a rover for use on the Moon or Mars,” said Founder and CEO of Astrolab, Jaret Matthews. “We’ve created a logistics system that can accommodate a wide variety of cargo. We expect that this approach will help establish a permanent lunar outpost on the Moon at a lower cost and in less time than previously envisioned.”
In order to create infrastructure, carry out high-priority science, and install technology demos and other specialized equipment on the lunar surface, Astrolab aims to demonstrate the advantages of having a highly competent and adaptable rover. To expedite the goal of establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon and eventually Mars, Astrolab intends to be the first of a series of rovers to land on the lunar surface.
Astrolab built the vehicle to function as a non-pressurized rover for a crew of two astronauts on the Moon in addition to being able to control it from Earth. This design complies with NASA’s specifications for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV), a rover that will eventually be an integral part of the agency’s Artemis program.
Visit astrolab.space to find out more about the Astrolab FLEX Rover.