PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Astrobotic PR) — Astrobotic applauds Chairman John Culberson (R-TX), Ranking Member Jose Serrano (D-NY) and the entire House Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee for their strong support for NASA and its efforts to return America to the surface of the Moon in the FY 2019 CJS Appropriations bill. The bill, which provides a record $21.5 billion for NASA, was released yesterday evening and will be marked up by the Subcommittee at 5 pm today.
The Committee press release notes that the bill “fully funds the requested amounts for robotic and human exploration of the moon, including $504.2 million for the lunar orbital platform; $116.5 million for advanced lunar and surface capabilities; $218 million for planetary science, including rovers and science instruments.”
“The FY 2019 House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill firmly sets America on a course back to the surface of the Moon for the first time since 1972 with its full funding of the Lunar Discovery and Exploration program in Science Mission Directorate and Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities in the Advanced Exploration Systems office,” said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO. “These approaches will build on NASA’s ongoing work with Lunar CATALYST partners to provide small robotic lander capabilities as early as 2020 on Astrobotic’s first Peregrine mission to the Moon, which will launch on the ULA Atlas V.”
This mark up is timely as NASA moves out on several of its plans under the Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program. Yesterday NASA held an Industry Day for its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, in which NASA SMD will partner with commercial lunar providers to deliver NASA payloads to the surface on at-least annual cadence. During the Industry Day, the agency outlined the draft Request for Proposals for CLPS, which NASA Administrator Bridenstine called “the next step on this path” back to the Moon. Meanwhile, the Advanced Exploration Systems program under HEOMD just recently closed its Request for Information for Medium Lander capabilities on April 30th. This RFI was another important signal that NASA is moving out on a methodical and highly capable lunar program.
Astrobotic applauds NASA actions on these programs that will ensure American space leadership and serve the goals of the science and exploration community. Lunar lander capabilities like those sought under the SMD CLPS and the AES Medium Lander program will address decades-long objectives on the Moon like those outlined in an April 10th letter to Capitol Hill by more than 70-signatories from the science and exploration community.
About Astrobotic Inc.
Astrobotic Technology Inc. is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The company’s Peregrine spacecraft accommodates multiple customer payloads on a single flight, offering flexibility at an industry-defining low price of $1.2 million per kilogram. Astrobotic is an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST program, has 23 prior and ongoing NASA contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, a corporate sponsorship with DHL, 11 deals for its first mission to the Moon, and 110 customer payloads in the pipeline for upcoming missions. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. www.astrobotic.com