Space startup Astrolabs has signed a settlement with SpaceX to ship its rover to the Moon as quickly as 2026 on board the gap company`s Starship rocket.

The startup is hoping to have its Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover be part of the 2,200-pound payload scheduled to be brought to the lunar floor with the aid of using SpaceX's enormous super-rocket in a count number of simply over 3 years from now — an bold plan thinking about SpaceX has but to release its rocket into orbit once.

The purpose is to supply the rover to close to the Moon's south pole.

"Because our rover can traverse up to some thousand kilometers in a given year, we`re much less touchy to precisely wherein we land," Astrolab CEO and founder Jaret Matthews informed SpaceNews. "It is virtually optimized for the south polar vicinity due to the fact that`s basically wherein we suppose that the majority of the pastime goes to be."

Lunar Rideshare

What the FLEX rover will truly be doing remains up withinside the air, as Astrolab is ensuring the rover can navigate whilst destiny companions will cope with the technological know-how part of the mission.

Astrolab may even post its rover to NASA's upcoming Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) opposition to peer whether or not it could end up a part of the agency's Artemis missions withinside the overdue 2020s.

"We are absolutely going to throw our hat withinside the ring," Matthews informed SpaceNews.

Astronaut Stroller

Last year, the startup confirmed off a idea of a futuristic new lunar rover that seemed loads like a massive child stroller for astronauts. Canadian astronaut legend Chris Hadfield took a full-scale prototype of the rover for a walk close to Death Valley, deep withinside the California desert, and got here away impressed.

"We need to be the UPS, FedEx, and the Uber of the Moon," Matthews informed The Verge on the time.

But earlier than it could take its FLEX rover to the lunar floor, SpaceX nonetheless has to show the viability of its towering heavy release platform — that's a ways simpler stated than done.

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