Astrobotic announces joint Ecuadorian-Colombian payload partnership to the Moon
(4 October 2018 - Astrobotic) Agencia Espacial Civil Ecuatoriana (EXA), and Agencia Espacial de Colombia (AEC) proudly announce at the 69th International Astronautical Congress their intent to sign a joint agreement with Astrobotic on October 5th to begin a lunar exploration campaign across multiple Peregrine lunar lander missions.
Starting with Peregrine’s first upcoming mission to the Moon, EXA and AEC will jointly develop a small satellite technology demonstration payload for deployment in lunar orbit. EXA and AEC are both private non-profits with established civilian space programs in their respective countries for many years now. Following this first mission, EXA and AEC will follow up their first lunar satellite with future lunar surface exploration payloads on subsequent Peregrine missions. This campaign will result in the first payloads from South America to reach the Moon, and mark the beginning of a new era in space exploration on the continent.
This agreement comes after EXA and AEC examined the field of commercial lunar delivery providers and determined Astrobotic to be the world’s leading provider with the most technically mature lunar lander program. With this announcement, EXA and AEC plan to join Astrobotic’s existing manifest of 12-signed deals toward Peregrine Mission One.
“We’re excited AEC and EXA chose Astrobotic to deliver their upcoming lunar exploration campaign,” said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. “Our service is making the Moon accessible to the world, and it’s exactly these kinds of international lunar campaigns that Peregrine was designed to serve.”
“With 11 years of experience and 5 prior space missions, we wanted to select serious partners that secure success as we have had before,” said Commander Ronnie Nader, Space Operations Director for EXA. “That is why we chose to release this announcement in the IAC2018 and selected Astrobotic as our carrier provider for the Colombo-Ecuadorian Lunar Program, at the service of the whole region via the IAF GRULAC.”
“To start lunar exploration missions at the Colombian Space Agency, we made the strategic decision to partner with EXA and Astrobotic,” said Pilar Zamora, Executive Director and Founder of AEC. “This is the first regional lunar project from Latin American & the GRULAC, and we will proudly carry the Ecuadorian and Colombian flags to the Moon. We’re excited to scale to even larger lunar activities in the future.”
Astrobotic Technology, Inc. is a space robotics company that seeks to make space accessible to the world. The company’s lunar lander, Peregrine, delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits, and individuals at an industry-defining price of $1.2 million per kilogram. The company is also developing advanced space robotics capabilities such as terrain relative navigation, mobile robotics for lunar surface operations, and reliable computing systems for mission-critical applications. Astrobotic has more than 30 prior and ongoing NASA and commercial technology contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, a corporate sponsorship with DHL, and 12 signed deals for Peregrine’s first mission to the Moon. The company is also an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST Program. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Colombian Space Agency was born by private initiative with the purpose of promoting the aerospace industry in Colombia with the fundamental principles of articulation of the private sector, governments and academia, this through the pragmatism applied in projects that demonstrate the functionalities of aerospace technology in the infinite needs of Colombia and in cooperation with the different governments, companies, and developments in the world. Our Strategic Plan is focused on positioning Colombia in the international scenario of aerospace development through international cooperation.
The Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency was founded in 2007, since 2008 member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), holds one permanent seat in the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and holds the Chair of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group of the IAF, it launched the first 2 Ecuadorian satellites into orbit in 2013, entirely built with its own technology, build and flown the 1st Parabolic flight plane of the region in 2008, holds the Guinness microgravity world record for 10 years now and has participated in 5 more international satellite missions. Counts with its own space technology development and testing facilities as well as its own ground station, it is the only institution in the region that exports its indigenous space technology to the US, the EU and Asian markets and it holds a 12-year contract for space and laser technology provision for the Irvine Cubesat STEM Program, a public schools U.S. consortium, It also has the only officially trained astronaut in the region with active duty status.