Venturi Astrolab, Inc. is a leading aerospace company established by a planetary rover and robotics expert team. Astrolab announced the development of an innovative rover built to enhance planetary and Lunar mobility. Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover is a mobility platform that is payload agnostic and can work within an ecosystem of transportation, vehicles, and tools.
Astrolab will help the human presence sustain on the Moon and Mars by providing mobility support through a fleet of FLEX rovers.
Traditionally, Planetary rovers are custom-designed around a particular payload and cost billions to design and develop. Furthermore, the traditional approach for planetary mobility is not compatible with NASA’s goal of sustained presence on the Moon and Mars. Keeping that in mind, Astrolab is developing a multi-functional FLEX rover designed around a modular payload interface with intermodal transportation from the lander to the rover.
An efficient and economical transportation network is required for humanity to operate off the earth in a sustained way. Astrolab is dedicated to fill in the last gap. FLEX offers a range of utility by being able to collect, deposit, and transport payload.”
-Jared Matthews, CEO of Astrolab
Massive investments from NASA and private industry in Lunar landing adventures will create an unprecedented landed mass capability and mission cadence. Astrolab’s FLEX rover is all set to revolutionize the landscape by enabling the landing of hundreds of tons of payload on the Moon each month.
Astrolab’s FLEX rovers have promising commercial potential. Its novel mobility system architecture allows it to collect and deposit modular payloads. It can support robotic science, exploration, site survey, resource utilization and logistics activities. FLEX is built with an adaptive utility in mind and can serve as an unpressurized rover for two astronauts.
The Astrolab team has successfully tested a fully functional prototype of the FLEX rover in California. In addition, Astrolab’s team tested the performance of the FLEX rover in both crewed and telerobotic operations.
Chris Hadfield, Astrolab Advisory Board member and retired NASA astronaut participated in the five-day field test and gave feedback on vehicles design and performance. We have transitioned from the Apollo era; it was pure exploration, but now we have plans to settle on the Moon. We need to move the cargo, life support, and more. Driving FLEX was pure joy, and its size, capability, and utility is impressive, said Chris Hadfield.