DHL and Astrobotic are developing a lunar delivery service – who would have thought?
The Peregrine lander will be able to deliver between 35 and 265 kilograms of payload to the surface of the moon, depending on the launch vehicle and propellant carried on the vehicle. Arjan Sissing, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Deutsche Post DHL said: “DHL has a proud history of connecting its customers to the world.
Moon exploration is also a theme that has a special historical significance for us – DHL; was founded in 1969, the year of the first moon landing.”* Astrobotic chose DHL as their official logistics provider who will ensure that all materials for the lunar lander will arrive in a timely and safe manner to begin their journey to the Moon. To make the dream a reality, Airbus Defence and Space will also contribute engineering support to Astrobotic.
The organisation has a history of developing world-class spacecraft experience in human spaceflight and exploration and has previously worked with the European Space Agency. The Peregrine lander is a smaller version of the Griffin, which Astrobotic had previously planned for lunar missions, but there are a few differences.
For starters, the Griffin uses a single larger thruster whereas the Peregrine uses an array of five thrusters which are similar to those developed for missile defence. John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic stated: “Make no mistake that Astrobotic has built a world-class team to make the Moon accessible to the world with the Peregrine Lander.”* The idea of developing such a device emerged when Astrobotic entered Google’s Lunar X Prize, which is offering a $20million dollar grand prize to the first of 16 teams to land on the moon and travel at least 500 metres across its surface.
Teams are also tasked with capturing and returning high definition videos and data. Thornton stated: “As a business, we’re out to make a sustainable delivery service to the moon…The X Prize is part of our first mission, but it’s not the only reason we exist.”** And with ten customers already signed up for its first mission, it seems like there’s no stopping this intergalactic dream.