A private company aims to send a robotic lander and rover to the lunar surface as soon as December of next year on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Astrobotic Technology Inc., a spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University, announced its contract with SpaceX Sunday. The Falcon 9’s upper stage will slingshot Astrobotic’s spacecraft on a four-day trip to the moon. Astrobotic’s lander will enter lunar orbit, align itself and land autonomously, using guidance systems designed for driverless cars.
The rover will explore the moon for three months, operating continuously during the day and hibernating at night.