Astrobotic Project Focuses on Wireless Power Transfer on the Moon

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA will a project by Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh to develop wireless transmission for power systems whose mechanical connections would be prone to getting clogged with lunar dust.

The space agency selected the project for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The phase I grant is worth up to $1250,000 over six months.

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NASA Awards Small Business Contracts to Manage Lunar Dust

Apollo 17 spacesuits and helmets were covered in abrasive lunar dust after three days of exploring the moon. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Lunar dust feels like fine snow, is strangely abrasive, and smells like burnt gun powder when exposed to oxygen.

It was a minor annoyance during the Apollo missions, which lasted a maximum of three days. Now that NASA is planning to send astronauts back to the moon to stay in the Artemis program, the space agency is looking for ways to control lunar dust so it doesn’t clog up spacesuits, spacecraft and habitats.

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Astrobotic Awarded NASA Contract to Develop UltraNav Smart Camera for Next-Gen Space Missions

Astrobotic’s UltraNav Aims to make Advanced Vision-Based Navigation Accessible to the Broader Space Industry

PITTSBURGH (Astrobotic PR) – NASA has selected Astrobotic for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award to continue its development of UltraNav, a low-cost, autonomous, visual navigation system for spacecraft. The system has wide-ranging applications, from the servicing of Earth satellites to journeys to challenging space destinations such as the lunar poles or Martian mountains.

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VIPER Moon Rover’s Instruments Tested for Early Lunar Flight

Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley assemble the Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System in preparation for its 2021 flight to the Moon. While assembling the instrument inside the NIRVSS clean room, integration engineer Amanda Cook uses ultraviolet light to inspect the four infrared detectors on the NIRVSS Longwave Calibration Sensor for cleanliness, before fastening the board into its enclosure. (Credits: NASA / Ames Research Center / Dominic Hart)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — When NASA’s new Moon rover, VIPER, lands on the lunar surface to begin its hunt for water ice at the poles, it will be equipped for the job with instruments that have already been battle-tested in this harsh environment.

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Astrobotic Developing Ground Penetrating Radar with NASA Funding

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology for additional funding to continue development of a compact, highly efficient ground penetrating radar (GPR) antenna that will allow rovers to characterize resources under the surface of the moon and other planets.

“The benefits of such technology could enable the characterization of lunar lava tubes, subsurface water-ice, and the location of planetary ore deposits in a manner that is both affordable and simple to integrate with larger systems,” Astrobotic said in its proposal summary.

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Astrobotic to Develop New Commercial Payload Service for NASA’s Human Landing System

Artist concept of the Dynetics Human Landing System on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: Dynetics)

PITTSBURGH (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic proudly announces that it is has been selected to develop and lead a new commercial payload service onboard the Dynetics Human Landing System (HLS). Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, was recently announced as one of three awardees by NASA to develop a new commercial lunar lander for NASA’s Artemis Program. The design and development of HLS for Artemis will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. With this new approach, the human lander will not only carry astronaut crews but also commercial payload shipments.

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Dynetics to Develop NASA’s Artemis Human Lunar Landing System

Artist concept of the Dynetics Human Landing System on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: Dynetics)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Dynetics PR) — Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), has been awarded a contract under NASA’s Artemis program to design a Human Landing System (HLS) and compete to build a system to take the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024.

Dynetics is one of three prime contractors selected.

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Astrobotic Announces New Lunar Logistics HQ in Pittsburgh

The Astrobotic Mission Control will be the nerve center for the first U.S. mission to the lunar surface since Apollo. (Credit: Astrobotic)

Astrobotic to open new state-of-the-art, 47,000 square foot facility in May 2020 for the development of lunar landers and rovers

Pittsburgh, PA (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic proudly announces that it will open a new state-of-the-art headquarters for lunar logistics in May 2020. The 47,000 square foot facility in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood of Manchester will house the company’s spacecraft integration cleanrooms, test facilities, lab spaces, rover test labs, payload operations room, and dedicated mission control. Astrobotic’s new headquarters is poised to become the epicenter for America’s return to the Moon.

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Astrobotic Relocating HQ in Pittsburgh, Adding New Jobs

PITTSBURGH (Gov. Wolf PR) — Governor Tom Wolf announced that Astrobotic Technology, Inc., a space robotics company whose mission is to make outer space accessible to the world, will relocate its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, creating 95 jobs and maintaining 20 jobs.

“With products developed in Pittsburgh launching to the moon, companies like Astrobotic show the world the innovative work being done right here in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “By investing in that innovation, we’re investing in the future of technology, the future of jobs, and the future of industry.”

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Astrobotic Blasts Off to the International Space Station

SoundSee, a new space technology collaboration, debuts at the International Space Station

SoundSee (Credit: Astrobotic)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Astrobotic PR)  – Astrobotic and Bosch are proud to announce the launch of SoundSee to the International Space Station (ISS). This technology marks the first deployment of technology to the ISS of both companies. As part of a research collaboration with NASA, the lunchbox-sized SoundSee module will assist astronauts by free flying through the space station and using fully-autonomous sensing capabilities to gauge ISS performance and predict when maintenance is needed.

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NASA Awards $2 Million Contract to Astrobotic’s CubeRover Program

An artist’s rendition of CubeRover, Astrobotic’s ultra-lightweight modular and scalable commercial rover. (Credit: Astrobotic)

Pittsburgh, Pa. (Astrobotic PR) – CubeRover, an ultralight, rechargeable planetary rover developed by Astrobotic, has been awarded a $2 million NASA Tipping Point contract. The rover, roughly the size of a shoebox and weighing in at under five pounds, can carry its own payloads or team up with other CubeRovers as “scouts” for larger rovers and landers.

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NASA Announces New Tipping Point Partnerships for Moon and Mars Technologies

Astrobotic is one of 14 companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. This illustration depicts CubeRover, an ultra-light, modular and scalable commercial rover.(Credit: Astrobotic/Carnegie Mellon University)

Astrobotic, Blue Origin, ExoTerra, Paragon and SpaceX among contract awardees for advanced technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 14 American companies as partners whose technologies will help enable the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach.

The selections are based on NASA’s fourth competitive Tipping Point solicitation and have a combined total award value of about $43.2 million. This investment in the U.S. space industry, including small businesses across the country, will help bring the technologies to market and ready them for use by NASA.

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Astrobotic, Spacebit Announce Agreement to Land First UK Commercial Payload on Moon

Astrobotic of Pittsburgh has proposed to fly as many as 14 payloads to a large crater on the near side of the Moon. (Credit: Astrobotic)

Newport, South Wales, UK (Spacebit/Astrobotic PR) – Spacebit proudly announces at The UK Space Conference 2019 their signing of a joint agreement with Astrobotic to begin commercial and scientific lunar exploration with the first mission in 2021 on the Peregrine lunar lander.

Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander will be launched on a Vulcan Centaur rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch will carry the first lunar lander from American soil since Apollo.

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Orbit Beyond Ends NASA Contract to Land Spacecraft on Moon

Orbit Beyond of Edison, New Jersey, has proposed to fly as many as four payloads to a lava plain in one of the Moon’s craters. (Credit: Orbit Beyond)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Citing “internal corporate challenges”, Orbit Beyond has pulled out of a $97 million contract with NASA to land a spacecraft on the moon in July 2021.

“Orbit Beyond, Inc., has informed NASA of internal corporate challenges that will prevent the timely completion of its awarded task order,” the space agency said in a press release.

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Astrobotic Awarded $5.6 Million NASA Contract to Deliver Autonomous Moon Rover

MoonRanger will traverse quickly over long distances using via autonomous surface navigation without communicating directly with Earth–a key breakthrough for short, two-week duration moon missions. (Credit: Astrobotic)

Astrobotic will lead development of MoonRanger with Carnegie Mellon University, a lunar rover that will test pioneering autonomy on the Moon

Pittsburgh, PA (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic was selected today by NASA’s Lunar Surface and Instrumentation and Technology Payload (LSITP) program to develop an autonomous lunar rover with its partner, Carnegie Mellon University. The 13 kilogram autonomous rover known as MoonRanger, is being developed to provide high fidelity 3D maps of the Moon’s surface in areas such as polar regions and lunar pits. It will demonstrate transformational high-speed, long-range, communication-denied autonomous lunar exploration.

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