Agreement Signed to Explore Payload Ideas for the Moon
Marks Third Space Agency to Collaborate with Astrobotic on Lunar Exploration
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and Astrobotic Technology have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on exploring concepts for a possible DLR payload to the Moon on Astrobotic's robotic lunar lander. This collaboration stands to provide DLR with lunar surface access via Astrobotic's delivery service, in support of DLR's ongoing work in lunar science and exploration. This agreement marks the third space agency to partner with Astrobotic toward a shared vision of returning to the Moon with commercial robotic missions.
By utilizing commercial lunar delivery service, space agencies around the world are now furthering their strategic goals on the Moon and beyond. "Astrobotic is a representative of the New Space economy in the field of exploration. We highly value this new approach and we are eager to see how it will affect governmental and commercial space exploration activities. Combining this new way of thinking with Germany's expertise in space robotics and our interest in the exploration of the Moon bears promising opportunities," states Dr. Gerd Gruppe, Member of the DLR's Executive Board.
"This collaboration with DLR underscores the strong interest of government space agencies across the globe in growing commercial partnerships to fly to the Moon," says John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. "Our ability to fly affordable missions to the lunar surface provides a platform for unlocking long-term visions of space exploration."
Astrobotic is the first commercial partner to sign with DLR for lunar payload delivery.
Astrobotic Technology Inc. is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits, and individuals. The company's spacecraft accommodates multiple customers on a single flight, offering flexibility at an industry-defining low price. Astrobotic is an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST program. Astrobotic has 21 prior and ongoing NASA contracts, strong commercial partnerships, 9 contracts and dozens of customer negotiations for upcoming missions. With its partner Carnegie Mellon University, Astrobotic is pursuing the Google Lunar XPRIZE. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.
DLR is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany's space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for the nation's largest project execution organisation. DLR has approximately 8,000 employees at 16 locations in Germany with its headquarters located in Cologne. DLR also has offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo, and Washington D.C.