College Students Prepare To Send Their First Ever Private Lunar Rover To The Moon


A team of young university students is preparing to launch their first ever privately-made lunar rover onto the Moon’s surface. This is worth noting as most if the people engaged in this project have years of experience under their belt. However, this is the new age where dreams start young.

The rover launched on May 4, which is the unofficial holiday of the Star Wars franchise (May the Fourth be with You), the rover that they designed weighs just around 2 kilograms. The objectives of the mission include demonstrating the technology and the ability to snap scientifically-relevant photos.

The project is called Iris and the rover that will be launched was designed at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Pittsburgh campus. This will be brought to the moon via a United Launch Alliance “Vulcan Centaur” rocket. This will also be with a multi-purpose payload.

At control center, the students who were involved with the project will work in teams and in shifts. They have been properly trained to send action commands as well as monitor the rover’s health and progress as it goes on this 60-hour mission. Because of such a bold move, the university is very proud of the students who have worked extremely hard on this project.

“Hundreds of students have poured thousands of hours into Iris. We’ve worked for years toward this mission, and to have a launch date on the calendar is an exciting step,” said Raewyn Duvall. She is the commander of the Iris mission, one that’s set to go down in the school’s history.


“Iris will open up lunar and space exploration by proving that a tiny, lightweight rover built by students can succeed on the moon,” she shared.

This move will start to inspire a number of firsts for the rest of the world. Only the US, Japan, and Russia have successfully launched rovers on the Moon. This means that Duvall’s team will be the first civilian team that has successfully been able to do the same. More importantly, this will also be the smallest and the lightest rover that was ever deployed.

Onboard the rocket will be another privately-made space machine called The Peregrine lander. This will take the Iris down onto the surface of the moon. As for Peregrine itself, it was made by a private space company called Astrobiotic. This will act as the delivery platform for astronauts who are set to work on the Lunar surface in the next two decades.

To prepare for this amazing and impressive May 4th launch, the team at CMU needed to conduct tons of training simulations. This was to make sure that they are more than capable of handling issues that could potentially come up and arise across during this primary mission and accompanied extended mission phase. Nonetheless, with all the hard work and preparation that came with it, they remain hopeful and optimistic for all its success.


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