Commercial lander to travel the moon in 2019


For its maiden mission to the moon in 2019, A private moon lander has partnered up with Boeing’s United Launch Alliance. Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic’s robotic Peregrine lander will use ULA’s Atlas V rocket to make its first trip to the moon on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

77 lbs (35 kilograms) of cargo will be carried by the lunar lander on its first journey.In future, it hopes to increase its cargo capacity seven-fold to 585 lbs. It has so far signed 11 contracts with six nations who want to carry a payload on the flight.

What is more, it is also offering the opportunity for consumers to send mementos, such as rings and photos, into space using MoonBoxes costing from $460. Working in collaboration with DHL, Astrobotics will provide users with mission status updates and documentation of delivery, while the keepsakes will remain on the moon for future generations, the company suggests.

“We are thrilled that Astrobotic has selected ULA to launch the Peregrine Lander to the Moon,” said ULA president and CEO, Tory Bruno.