Astrobotic Technology reserves a spot on a private rocketship to deliver their lunar lander to the moon by as early as 2013.
By Irene Klotz
Mon Feb 7, 2011 08:33 AM ET
A company building a lunar rover and lander have booked a flight to the moon.
The contract is the first moon mission for the privately owned SpaceX.
The mission could launch as early as December 2013.
The company, Astrobotic Technology, has reserved a ride on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Click to enlarge this image.
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SpaceX, the rocket company headed by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, sold its first launch to the moon, a mission that gives Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off, an early lead in a $32 million race to land a privately owned rover on the lunar surface.
The contract, announced Sunday, reserves a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to fly Astrobotic Technology’s lander and rover to the moon as early as December 2013.
“For every hundred technology developments there is one that has a ride booked. It’s a real distinguishing factor,” David Gump, president of Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology, told Discovery News.