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SpaceX will carry an SUV-sized rover to the Moon in 2026

Although the next-generation rocket has yet to fly, that doesn’t stop SpaceX from booking flights of the spacecraft. On Friday, it launched a startup called Astrolabe He recently signed a deal with Elon Musk’s private space company to book a spot on an uncrewed Starship cargo mission that could be launched in the mid-2026. “This is SpaceX’s first commercial cargo contract on Earth,” said Jarrett Matthews, CEO of Astrolabe. The surface of the moon”. Adding that his company was one of the few clients involved in the theft.

Astrolabe is building a rover that it hopes will one day ferry equipment, supplies, and people across the lunar surface. The Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover is about the size of a Jeep Wrangler, making it slightly larger than NASA’s Perseverance rover to Mars. It also has a robotic arm to help move cargo and can travel up to 15 miles per hour. Oh, and the FLEX can carry up to two astronauts.

Once it lands on the moon, the astrolabe claims the Flex will become the largest lunar rover. Matthews said tenses The astrolabe already has customers waiting to use the rover to transport cargo during the Starship 2026 mission. Looking into the future, Matthews said FLEX could help establish a permanent human presence on the moon and beyond. “Our goal is ultimately to have a roaming fleet on both the Moon and Mars,” he said. “And I really think I see these vehicles as the ultimate enablers of the extraterrestrial economy.”

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