June 04, 2016: DHL becomes the official logistics provider for Astrobotic's spacecraft and its customer payloads, making sure that all materials for the new lunar lander as well as the 'space freight' will arrive safe and on time to begin their journey to the moon. Airbus Defence and Space is also supporting this mission.
"DHL has a proud history of connecting its customers to the world. Moon exploration is also a theme that has a special historical significance for us - DHL was founded in 1969, the year of the first moon landing. Today, we are excited to be embarking upon this incredible venture into the next era of logistics - beyond Earth and to the Moon. Having played a pioneering role in logistics for many years, we are looking forward to partnering with Astrobotic to open a new frontier in space, and to further developing lunar logistics in the future," said Arjan Sissing, senior vice president, Global Brand Marketing, Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, will contribute initial engineering support to Astrobotic through a Memorandum of Understanding, as the company advances its lunar lander design to a preliminary design review. Airbus Defence and Space brings world-class spacecraft experience in human spaceflight and exploration and leverages previous lander development work with the European Space Agency.
Together, this team will advance the technical maturity of the new "Peregrine" Lunar Lander towards the next big development milestone. Peregrine builds on eight years of Astrobotic lunar lander development, and will carry Astrobotic's first delivery of payloads to the lunar surface. Peregrine will fly as a secondary payload on its first mission, with the ability to fly Astrobotic's future missions thereafter. Peregrine offers mission flexibility with a 30 to 265 kilogram payload capacity. This enables secondary flights on several different launch vehicles. The lander will be powered with an Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion system featuring next generation space engine technology.
These announced partnerships build on an already existing Astrobotic relationship with NASA, through the Lunar CATALYST Programme. NASA Lunar CATALYST provides Astrobotic access to some of the best spacecraft engineers and facilities in the world, as part of NASA's effort to encourage the development of US commercial robotic lunar lander capabilities.
"With Airbus Defence and Space, DHL, Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA, Astrobotic has built a team of legends. Make no mistake that Astrobotic has built a world-class team to make the Moon accessible to the world with the Peregrine Lander," stated John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic.