Space robotics technology maker Astrobotic has partnered with United Launch Alliance to help send a lunar lander to the moon sometime in 2021 using a Vulcan Centaur rocket. ULA will launch the lander as part of Astrobotic’s $79.5M contract that covers the deployment of up to 14 NASA-sponsored payloads through the Peregrine lander, ULA said Monday.
“This partnership represents a true ‘whole-of-government’ approach to how our nation is leading the world in space: NASA contracted with a commercial company to land on the moon, who then went on to contract with a commercial company for a rocket built to serve the national security space market,” said Tory Bruno, president and CEO of ULA.
The mission will serve as one of two flights that ULA must complete to secure certification from the U.S. Air Force for its new launch vehicle. Vulcan Centaur will carry Peregrine from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in support of the space agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Astrobotic has enlisted 16 customers for lunar delivery services as part of its first mission.