Company Name: Astrobotic Technology & Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), USA
Potentially available for future missions
Planned Mission(s): Xelene
First Mission Launch: November 2023
Payload Delivery Locations: First mission planned to land at Lunar South Pole, 89.4°S and 2°E
First Mission Lander: XL -1
Rover Mass: 19 kg
Rover Dimensions: About the size of a suitcase
Rover Mobility: Cover up to 1,000 m over the course of one Earth day, in both sunlit and dark conditions.
Power Source Type: Solar-powered rover
Power Generation and Usage: No isotope heating, so battery and electronics will fail when night lunar falls and cryogenic temperatures set in.
Communications Available: Relay communications back to Earth, transmitting via the Masten lander.
It must return to the lander, and establish a short-range wireless communication so the lander's radio can relay the robot's findings to Earth.
Expected Working Duration: 14 sunlit Earth-days
First Mission Rover Manifest:
1) The MoonRanger will carry the Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS), which will measure the concentration of hydrogen in the Moon’s regolith – a possible indication of the existence of buried water.
2) MoonRanger has self-sufficient power, electronics, thermal regulation, navigation, and autonomy.
3) MoonRanger will demonstrate communications and mapping technologies. It will demonstrate the ability to move quickly across long distances on the lunar surface with autonomous navigation and without the ability to communicate with Earth in real-time. It is a technology that could enable the exploration of destinations that are far from lunar landing sites.