First U.S. robotic moon lander since Apollo era planned for mid-2021

Oct. 7 (UPI) — A private company handling NASA’s long-awaited return to the moon’s surface said its robotic Peregrine lander is on track for launch in the spring.

The lander project, which received funding from NASA, would become the first private, commercial mission to the moon, said Sharad Bhaskaran, mission director for Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology.

The Peregrine mission is planned to help prepare for a 2024 crewed landing in NASA’s Artemis program. Astrobotic’s lead role in the lunar return follows its founding in 2007 by robotics research professor Red Whittaker at Carnegie Mellon University.

“We are trying to become the first to land an American spacecraft on the moon since Apollo,” Bhaskaran said Tuesday. “Within a few years, we want to fly Peregrine once every year or 18 months. We believe that is a credible plan.”

Astrobotic has a fixed-price contract from NASA of $79.5 million for the first Peregrine

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Author John Rocco retells the true story of Apollo 11 with amazing art and science

“How We Got to the Moon”, out today (Oct. 6) peels back the curtain to expose the true story of NASA’s Apollo program and how people from all walks of life worked together to accomplish the impossible.

The new children’s book, fully titled “How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure” (Random House Children’s Books, 2020) and written and illustrated by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator John Rocco, who wrote and illustrated “Blackout” and illustrated the famed series “Percy Jackson,” goes on sale today (Oct. 6). 

The book takes an immersive approach to NASA’s “moonshot” Apollo program, exploring the science behind the Apollo 11 journey and introducing some of the people who made the first crewed moon landing possible. 

“I wanted to make a book that I would have loved as a kid as a kid … and

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