Astrobotic has unveiled their flight model of the company’s Peregrine lunar lander during a visit by top NASA and government officials to their headquarters.
The flight model, as opposed to earlier test models, is the version of Peregrine that will actually fly to the Moon on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket. This unveiling is a sign of Peregrine’s state of readiness as the lander moves closer to its launch date, scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
Peregrine is the first lander in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative to unveil its flight model, and could become the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon since the Apollo program.
Peregrine’s unveiling took place at Astrobotic’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, headquarters, an approximately 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility dedicated to developing and operating lunar spacecraft. Because the flight model must be kept free of contamination of sensitive spacecraft components, attendees were required to suit up in white coveralls and hairnets to enter the cleanroom where Peregrine is being assembled.