After several years of work, a rover that has no state funding is going to explore the surface of the Moon… next month!
A group of students of the Carnegie Mellon University have made a rover called Iriswhich will step on the surface of the Moon the next May 4th. They are thus ahead of NASA, which has never put a rover on the Moon.
You may be surprised by this fact, but although NASA has sent astronauts to our satellite, and even a lunar buggy, only China has put a rover (unmanned vehicle) on its surface.
He rover iriscreated by more than 200 students of the Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, for several years, will be uploaded to the Peregrine lunar landerwhich will be sent to the Moon by the centaur vulcan rocket from the United Launch Alliance on May 4.
It is the same rocket that will carry the DNA of four North American presidents into space, and the ashes of the creator and several actors of the Star Trek series.
A student rover that breaks records
He rover iris It is already a prodigy, being the first student rover to set foot on the Moon. That’s assuming the mission is successful. Something we all look forward to.
He is also going to break several records, since he is also going to be the smallest and lightest unmanned vehicle that has been used in space. In this video you can see how the docking of the rover to the lander is tested:
He rover iris will not be the only burden of the Peregrine lunar landermade by astrobotic.
peregrine It will transport 14 different loads, most of them instruments and small robots from NASA, but also from countries like Mexico, Germany or Hungary.
If the Peregrine landing is a success and the rover iris arrives safely on the surface of the Moon, a 60 hour mission where will capture photos of the surroundingsand will send them to Earth.
The Carnegie Mellon University you already have your own ready Mission Control Center:
Along with the unmanned vehicle, they are also going to send a sculpture called MoonArk. It is a time capsule that contains photos, videos, poems, and other content inspired by our planet. The idea is that future generations exploring the Moon will find it.
The rocket science It is no longer a private preserve of the states and the military, and that will greatly benefit its development.
If all goes well, the rover iriscreated by studentsit will begin to roll on the moon surface he May 5 or 6. It will be a great triumph of academic rocket science.