The three companies are developing commercial lunar landers capable of hauling experiments, sensors and small rovers to the moon.The Trump administration urged for a human lunar landing by 2024 and NASA has named the accelerated lunar landing program Artemis. These are precursor missions prior to before landing humans. Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines and OrbitBeyond will share more than $250 million in contracts to deliver as many as 23 NASA-backed payloads to the moon. The New Jersey-based company OrbitBeyond said its the company’s Z-01 lunar lander will be ready to land on the moon in September 2020. It will be reusing a design developed by TeamIndus, an Indian team that once competed for the Google Lunar X Prize but was not eligible to compete for CLPS contracts, which are open to U.S. companies. The Z-01 lander can carry about 90 pounds (40 kilograms) of payloads to the moon’s surface.
Lander from Intuitive Machines
OrbitBeyond’s lander will also carry a small rover to for a test drive across the lunar surface. On the other part, Peregrine lander, a robotic craft that will stand roughly 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) tall and 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) wide, built by Astrobotic, will be ready for the moon in 2021. The spacecraft will be able to haul up to 200 pounds, or 90 kilograms, of payload mass to the moon. Intuitive Machines, Houston based, has the largest lander of the three companies. It will be ready for its first lunar landing by July 2021.