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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NASA Selects Astrobotic for Two SBIR Awards

Polaris rover (Credit: Astrobotic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Astrobotic Technologies will develop a compact ground penetrating radar antenna to peer below the surfaces of other worlds and a low-power navigation system for use on CubeSats with the help of NASA funding.

The space agency selected the Pittsburgh-based company for two awards under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Each award is worth up to $125,000 over six months.

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Astrobotic Selected by NASA to be a Lunar Delivery Provider

WASHINGTON, DC (Astrobotic PR) – 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.

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NASA Chooses 9 Companies to Bid on Lunar Delivery Contracts

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Nine U.S. companies now are eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts, as one of the first steps toward long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars.

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Frontier Aerospace Selected for NASA Award to Develop Deep Space Thruster Using MON-25/MMH Propellant

Frontier Aerospace and Astrobotic team to develop MON-25/MMH thruster for Peregrine Moon landing

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Astrobotic/ Frontier Aerospace PR)  Frontier Aerospace Corporation is pleased to announce their selection by NASA’s Space Technology and Mission Directorate (STMD) for a “Tipping Point” award to provide flight qualification of Frontier’s Deep Space Engine (DSE) that utilizes MON-25/MMH propellant. The DSE engine will enable the design of smaller and less expensive propulsion systems for spacecraft as a result of the lower temperature freezing characteristics of MON-25/MMH propellant.

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Arch Mission Foundation Partners with Astrobotic to Launch Historic Lunar Library

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Astrobotic PR) — The Arch Mission Foundation and Astrobotic today announced a partnership to land the Lunar Library™ on Astrobotic’s first mission to the Moon in 2020. The Lunar Library will last for up to billions of years on the Moon, continuing the Arch Foundation’s mission to preserve and disseminate humanity’s most important knowledge across time and space.

The foundational components of the Lunar Library will include the Wikipedia, and the Long Now Foundation’s Rosetta Project, a digital library of human languages. Additional content and data for the Lunar Library, will be announced in the coming year.

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NASA Cancels Lunar Resource Prospector, Promises Aggressive Commercial Strategy

The Resource Prospector prototype searches for a buried sample tube at the Johnson Space Center rock yard in August 2015. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In a move that left the lunar science community stunned, NASA has canceled the Resource Prospector mission, which would have sent a rover to the moon to drill holes in search of ice and other volatiles that could be used to support human settlers and miners and turned into fuel to power spacecraft.

In place of the mission, which was set to launch in 2022, the space agency issued a draft request for proposal (RFP) on Friday for the new Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Under CLPS, NASA would pay companies to carry instruments and experiments to the lunar surface aboard privately-built landers and rovers.

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Praise for Space Policy Directive 1

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Praise is pouring in for Space Policy Directive 1, the Trump Administration’s document that focuses the nation’s civilian space program on returning astronauts to the moon.

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1) signed today by President Trump, formalizing the commitment made by the Administration during the first meeting of the National Space Council to reinvigorate America’s deep space exploration program. The signing ceremony in the White House West Wing was attended by Coalition President and CEO Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar together with the President, Vice President, members of Congress, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and NASA astronauts – including Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who together with the late Captain Eugene Cernan were the last Americans to visit the Moon during Apollo 17 exactly 45 years ago.

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