How the ‘Peregrine Lander’ could make history on the moon

Pittsburgh-based aerospace company, Astrobotic Technology, is on a mission to democratize access to the moon by commercializing lunar infrastructure. It all comes down to the success of space landers like the Peregrine Lander, also described as a ‘Lunar FedEx.’

This lander will operate as a delivery service from the Earth to the moon, carrying a variety of cargo from companies, governments, universities, nonprofits and individuals.

“The amount of precision and the amount of engineering required to get every gram of performance out of this vehicle is tremendous,” Astrobotic CEO John Thornton said.

Equipped with its own electronics, propulsion and communications systems, the Peregrine Lander will be loaded aboard a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket, scheduled for launch later this year.

A successful landing would mark a major milestone in the private space race, with Astrobotic Technology becoming the first commercial company to land on the moon.

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Video transcript

JOHN THORTON: This is the Peregrine Lander. What you're seeing here will be on the surface of the moon before too long.

- Astrobotic technology is on a mission to democratize access to the moon. And it all hinges on the success of space landers like this. the Peregrine Lander stands roughly six feet tall, and it's capable of carrying payloads weighing nearly 600 pounds. It's wrapped in layers of insulation to protect against the most extreme conditions on the moon.

JOHN THORTON: The amount of precision required and the amount of engineering that's required to get every gram of performance out of this vehicle, it's tremendous.

- The Peregrine has its own electronics, propulsion, and communication systems. Any day now, this lander will hitch a ride to space on a ULA Vulcan rocket. If it lands successfully on the moon, it will mark the first commercial lunar landing in history.