Astrobotic’s tiny Moon rover is on its way to NASA for testing

It will provide a mobile platform for scientific instruments on the Moon.

Sponsored Links

Astrobotic CubeRover
Astrobotic

Astrobotic’s CubeRover is on its way to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the robotics company announced today. The CubeRover is designed to provide a mobile platform for scientific instruments on the surface of the Moon.

CubeRover was co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University, and Astrobotic says it’s the lightest commercial planetary rover ever created. It weighs in at just about four kilograms.

A NASA team at Kennedy’s Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Laboratory will now spend months testing the rover on their simulated lunar surface. The tests will determine what types of slopes, gaps and other surface irregularities the rover can navigate, and drop testing will make sure the rover can bounce around without tipping over. The CubeRover is designed to work with multiple lunar landers, so if all goes according to plan, it will be used on multiple space missions. 

NASA has also selected Astrobotic as its commercial partner for an upcoming Moon mission that will look for the location and concentration of ice on the lunar surface. That will help inform future crewed Moon landings.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget