Pittsburgh, Pa. - Astrobotic proudly announces today during the 49thanniversary week of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing that the company has selected Dynetics of Huntsville, Alabama as the propulsion provider for its Peregrine Lunar Lander.
Peregrine will return America to the Moon for the first time since Apollo and begin delivering customer payloads once a year starting in 2020. Dynetics will integrate Peregrine's main engines and attitude control thrusters, controller electronics, tanks, and feed system into a single system that performs all propulsive maneuvers from cruise to soft landing on the Moon. The Dynetics-led system will feature a propellant with a next-generation oxidizer called MON-25, which has a higher nitric oxide content to provide better thermal capability to operate more efficiently in deep space environments than previous oxidizers. Dynetics will procure the engines from Simi Valley, CA-based Frontier Aerospace, which is under contract with NASA to qualify the engines for lunar missions.
In keeping with Astrobotic's product line philosophy for reliable lunar missions, the company intends to use the Dynetics propulsion system on ongoing Peregrine missions. With this agreement, Astrobotic further solidifies its supply chain for a dependable, low-cost manifest of missions that enables companies, governments, universities, and nonprofits to plan their campaigns of science, exploration, and commerce on the Moon.
"Astrobotic is thrilled to have Dynetics join our world-class team of partners, and this multi-mission agreement stands to propel Peregrine landers for years to come," said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. "With a proven track record of successfully delivering for NASA and other U.S. Government customers, Dynetics was the right choice for Astrobotic."
"Dynetics is proud to be partnering with Astrobotic. We are located in the "Rocket City" and our city is known for our years of engineering accomplishments, including landing on the Moon in 1969. Dynetics is excited to build onto that legacy and provide access for commercial customers who want to explore. We stand ready to deliver for this exciting service and help forge a new path forward for America to the Moon," said Dynetics CEO David King.
Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania also weighed in on today's announcement.
"As a child growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, I remember the great pride in America I felt the moment Neil Armstrong stepped from the lunar lander onto the moon in 1969. That was a defining moment in American history and to this day one of mankind's greatest achievements. More recently, the renewed focus on commercial space exploration and a return to the moon has again sparked pride and excitement among the American people," said U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville. "Like during the Apollo era, much of the work being done to take astronauts to the moon is happening in the Tennessee Valley. I'm very pleased Astrobotic and Dynetics, a homegrown Huntsville company, are partnering to produce the next generation of lunar lander. As Vice-Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Space Subcommittee, I congratulate these two firms on their partnership, and I look forward to seeing the end result of their work together."
"Pennsylvania businesses have a long history of leading innovation," said Senator Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania." I'm pleased to see Astrobotic working with Dynetics to put the lunar lander back on the moon. When American companies come together to achieve a goal, they can outcompete any in the world."
See a short video of the Astrobotic Peregrine landing on the Moon with the Dynetics Propulsion System, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeSTSrWJ0iM.