Australia is closer to embarking on its first mission to the Moon in partnership with NASA.
The AROSE consortium and the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium will each receive $4 million as part of stage one of the Trailblazer program under the Moon to Mars initiative.
The companies will design early-stage prototypes of a semi-autonomous rover.
The rover will collect lunar soil from the Moon and deliver it to a NASA payload which will attempt to extract oxygen from the sample.
The rover is part of the NASA Moon to Mars mission which will be a major step towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon and supporting future missions to Mars. It aims to launch by 2026.
The 2 successful consortiums are made up of a mixture of:
- Australian industries
- space start-ups
- major resources companies
- other research partners.
Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said this announcement is another step toward Australia’s first mission to the Moon.
“From those selected to be part of the Trailblazer program, to other industry success stories and our impressive universities and research organisations, Australia has much to be proud of,” Mr Palermo said.
“Programs like Trailblazer are important to growing our space sector, as well as our know-how in robotics and automation. It also has an important role to play in inspiring more young Australians to consider STEM careers.”