The first landing craft headed for the moon after the Apollo missions was right here in Pittsburgh. Announced during a press conference yesterday, which was attended by a NASA administrator Bill Nelson and Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8), among other things, the Peregrine lander will carry 24 payloads, ranging from very sensitive tools to A 4-kilogram rover assembled by CMU students on our satellite. The peregrine is expected to embark on a voyage this fall aboard the superpower Vulcan rocket, it will still be more than 50 years since the completion of the Apollo program. The lander is a part Artemis programa NASA project that plans to send the first woman to the moon, as well as build a lunar colony.
Let’s talk about characteristics. Peregrine is similar to Apollo Eagle landing craftbut it will be unmanned. The lander has four legs that will be equipped with foam legs to absorb shock. Two external fuel tanks and a central helium tank – shiny gold pieces in the image above – will power rocket engines that will not yet be attached. The top solar panel, which Astrobotic CEO John Thornton jokingly called Peregrine’s “hat,” will help power the lander as soon as it’s in place. (Do you think they ever called it “Perry”?)
Upon completion, the spacecraft will undergo environmental testing at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, which has a massive, sand-filled room for modeling the moon. Later the lander, Gryphon, will look for water at the South Pole of the Moon. Griffin is much wider and flatter than Peregrine, and includes elongated rods that he will use to sample the surface of the moon.
Rep. Cartwright hailed the funding provided by the House Appropriations Committee for Artemis as a rare example of bipartisanship in Washington. Nelson, meanwhile, touted NASA’s work with Astrobotic as the agency’s latest attempt to “force the industry to show the government how to make things cheaper but still be reliable and safe.” NASA is working more and more with private corporationsincluding Amazon and SpaceXas it seeks to increase the frequency and scale of U.S. space travel.
Burg is fighting hard to become America’s next space city. Joined by Astrobotic Keystone Space CollaborativeNASA officials and other companies in Pittsburgh the first space conference in history this week at the Carnegie Science Center. Their Moonshot Museum, whose director is Sam we were interviewed in Februaryis an additional signal that the space company formed in the CMU remains here. Keystone Space Collaborative Chairman Justin Kashnica says the three-state region “outweighs Texas and Florida” in space technology and praised Astrobotic as “a shining star of what our region can create”.
You can watch our opening reel over on Instagram. We will monitor further developments when they become available. Hope Perry has a successful launch later this year!