Astrobotic Technology Inc. has commended the president’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget request for NASA, which grows funding for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program within the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program (LDEP). Through CLPS, NASA and its commercial partners like Astrobotic are re-establishing American presence on the lunar surface with regular, low-cost deliveries of science and exploration payloads starting in 2021.
With this forward-thinking FY21 budget request, Astrobotic believes a new era of lunar science and exploration is imminently within reach for the first time since the Apollo era. The sustained growth of the LDEP and CLPS program as proposed in FY21 will definitively establish a U.S.-led ecosystem of science, exploration, and commerce on the Moon.
“This budget is a major step toward long-term U.S. leadership on the Moon and beyond. The capabilities shaped by this budget will serve as the cornerstone for not only getting back to the Moon in the first place but carrying out meaningful science and exploration work once we’re there,” said John Thornton, Astrobotic CEO. “The surface mobility investments made in this FY21 proposal are especially laudable, which would enable planetary rovers on and beyond the Moon for years to come.”
Astrobotic continues to strongly support NASA’s Artemis program, as outlined in the FY21 budget request. Key Artemis programs like the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, the Gateway, and their enabling ground systems will continue to make progress under this FY21 budget. Commercial capabilities like Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander stand ready to work in concert with these elements under the Artemis program, which are imminently coming online.
Peregrine will deliver the first collection of NASA payloads onboard Peregrine in the Summer of 2021, and kick-off America’s return to the Moon. This FY21 budget will ensure a broader ecosystem of lunar activity capitalizes on this first flight and firmly establishes American leadership on the Moon going forward. Astrobotic looks forward to working with Congress as it considers this proposal throughout the upcoming budget and appropriations process.