Astrolab agreed with SpaceX to deliver the FLEX lunar bike to Starship

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Astrolab has signed a contract with SpaceX to deliver its Flexible Logistics and Exploration bicycle to the moon on a flight aboard the Starship spacecraft, planned for mid-2026. The payload will weigh one ton and is set to be transported to the moon’s south polar region. The FLEX bicycle is capable of covering up to 2,000 km per year and is optimized for work in the specified area. Astrolab did not disclose the mission’s customers but said the rover has multiple uses. The company also intends to offer the bike to NASA as part of the upcoming Lunar Terrain Vehicle competition.

Astrolab agreed with SpaceX to deliver the FLEX lunar bike to Starship

California-based Astrolab has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to deliver a Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) bicycle to the moon as part of a flight aboard the Starship spacecraft. The parties have planned the launch for the middle of 2026.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the contract, which Astrolab said was the first commercial contract for delivery of cargo to Earth’s natural satellite signed by SpaceX.

The mission will involve transporting a one-ton payload to the moon’s south polar region, Astrolab founder and chief executive Jaret Matthews said. He noted that FLEX is capable of covering up to 2,000 km per year. The device is optimized to work in the specified region, where the main part of its activity will take place, Matthews shared.

Astrolab did not name the mission’s customers, but said the rover has many uses. The company takes care of the basic functions of mobility, navigation, communication and power, which allows the rover to be used for various tasks. Astrolab promises to announce details about its customers in the coming months.

The company unveiled its plans for the FLEX last March after testing a prototype in the California desert. Currently, the project is at the stage of preliminary consideration, the developers are paying special attention to the rover’s robotic manipulator, which has six degrees of freedom for deploying tools and other functions.

Matthews emphasizes the benefits of FLEX’s modular design to potential customers.

Astrolab intends to offer the bike to NASA as part of the upcoming Lunar Terrain Vehicle competition. By May, the space agency will determine the vehicle that will be used by astronauts starting with the Artemis 5 program at the end of this decade.

The weight of FLEX with payload is about 2 tons. The device accommodates two astronauts who can control the car using the onboard panel.

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