The $75.9 million award includes end-to-end services for delivery of the instruments, including payload integration, launch from Earth, landing on the Moon’s surface, and operation for at least 12 days. Masten Space Systems will land these payloads on the Moon with its XL-1 lander.
NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program continues to be the best thing to come out of the renewed focus on the Moon. Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines are still working towards their launches for the program, and now Masten gets to be a part of this.
I’m so thrilled for Masten. I’ve long admired their work, and it’s wonderful to see them become part of a quick moving, big budget, and prestigious program like CLPS. I really hope they shine with XL-1 and can use that momentum to push themselves with bigger and better vehicles.
Sample Acquisition, Morphology Filtering, and Probing of Lunar Regolith (SAMPLR) is a robotic arm that will collect samples of lunar regolith and demonstrate the use of a robotic scoop that can filter and isolate particles of different sizes. The sampling technology makes use of a flight spare from the Mars Exploration Rover project.