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NASA Receives First Lunar CubeRover from Astrobotic

1 Oct 2020, 14:33 UTC
NASA Receives First Lunar CubeRover from Astrobotic
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PITTSBURGH (Astrobotic PR) — After three years of intensive engineering work, Astrobotic’s CubeRover is on its way to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The CubeRover is designed to provide an affordable mobile outlet for scientific instruments and other payloads to operate on the surface of the Moon. This occasion marks the first time Astrobotic’s Planetary Mobility department has delivered rover hardware to an outside entity.

Named for its modular, scalable design, the CubeRover was co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University, with input from a NASA team at Kennedy, and marks the completion of work on NASA’s $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract to develop a lightweight rover with flight characteristics.

Astrobotic has since refined and commercialized the CubeRover product line with the goal of supporting mobility as a service with a variety of diverse payloads, making lunar access easier for smaller tech demonstrations and scientific investigations. The rover is also designed to be integrated onto multiple lunar landers for voyages to the Moon, facilitating its inclusion on a wide variety of future space missions.

Designing the compact CubeRover presented an array of engineering challenges for the Astrobotic and Carnegie Mellon teams. Among many concerns, the ...

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