Ibadan, 22 November 2023. – Venturi Astrolab, Inc. (Astrolab) has announced that it has reached an agreement with eight enterprise customers to use its Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover to deploy the customers’ payloads on Astrolab’s upcoming mission to the Moon – Mission 1. Five of the customers are Argo Space, Astroport, Avalon Space, Interstellar Lab, and LifeShip. Three more customers are contracted with Astrolab but intend to release details of their payloads at a future date, closer to launch. Collectively, Astrolab values the eight contracts at more than $160 million.
As part of Mission 1, SpaceX will transport the FLEX rover to the lunar surface. SpaceX will use the Starship launch and landing system for this mission as soon as mid-2026. Following landing on the Moon, FLEX will deploy payloads for each customer. SpaceX and Astrolab expect to complete Mission 1 as soon as mid-2026.
“Our entire team is excited to welcome these businesses to Mission 1,” said Jaret Matthews, CEO and Founder, of Astrolab. “Together, they represent a cross-section of the emerging lunar economy. As we get closer to our launch date, we expect to make additional customer announcements.” The CEO also added that given FLEX’s total payload capacity of 1,500 KG, Astrolab can substantially lower the cost of deploying payloads on the lunar surface while providing unparalleled maneuverability, range, power, and communications capabilities. Furthermore, the company estimates its prices are approximately ten times more affordable than those of competitors.
FLEX features a highly dexterous robotic arm that will help to deploy customer payloads, manipulate instruments, and collect samples. This increased capacity and versatility provide significantly more opportunities to conduct scientific experiments and commercial endeavors on the lunar surface.