The moon may soon have a postal address if an ambitious marriage of logistics knowhow and cutting-edge science is successful. Deutsche Post DHL has signed on as the “official logistics provider” for Astrobotic’s first mission to the moon. The mail and logistics company is responsible for logistics services for Astrobotic’s spacecraft and its customer payloads. While Astrobotic Technology flies hardware systems into space for companies, governments, and universities, DHL will ensure that materials for lunar missions and ‘space freight’ arrive in good condition and on time prior to their launch. Airbus Defence and Space will provide initial engineering support for the project.
Bart Reijnen, Senior Vice President of On-Orbit Services and Exploration for Airbus Defence and Space said his company “clearly regards Astrobotic as the front runner in commercial lunar transportation services.” He explained that the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Astrobotic presented the opportunity to, “assess options to further strengthen this cooperation and to become a true partner in the global endeavor to provide a commercial gateway to the moon”
This alliance of starship troopers is working to advance the technical maturity of the new “Peregrine” Lunar Lander, Astrobotic’s multifaceted spacecraft that can deliver payloads to the moon. Smaller than a typical ‘smart car’ Peregrine can deliver a payload of up to 265 kilograms. This impressive capability will be powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion system featuring “next generation space engine technology.” According to Astrobotic’s website, the lander is designed to accommodate a wide spectrum of missions including science, exploration and even marketing. During orbit and landing, the Peregrine lander employs cameras, inertial measurement units (IMUs) and technology that measures distance by illuminating the target sight with lasers to ensure a delivery within 100 meters of the intended location.