WASHINGTON — Astrobotic, a company competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, announced June 10 it had signed an agreement to carry a payload provided by Mexico’s space agency to the moon.
Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic said it will carry a payload provided by the Agencia Espacial Mexicana (AEM) on a lunar lander mission the company is developing. Neither the company nor the agency disclosed the terms of the agreement, including the value of the contract.
AEM issued a request for proposals for the payload itself in May, and expects to make a selection this fall. The payload will be the first sponsored by AEM to fly beyond Earth orbit. The announcement did not indicate whether the payload will be installed on Astrobotic’s first lander, scheduled for launch in 2016, or on a later mission.
Astrobotic is one of 16 teams currently active in the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30-million competition to land privately developed spacecraft on the moon. Astrobotic won $1.75 million in milestone prizes from the X Prize Foundation in January for development of various elements of its lander and rover.