Iris: The smallest and lightest rover ever deployed on the Moon
What You Need To Know!
- Carnegie Mellon University students are launching the first privately-made lunar rover, Iris, onto the Moon’s surface in May 2023.
- The rover weighs just 2 kilograms and will demonstrate its technology and take scientifically-relevant images.
- Iris will be carried to the moon aboard a United Launch Alliance “Vulcan Centaur” rocket and will be the smallest and lightest rover ever deployed.
In an exciting new development in space exploration, a team of university students from Carnegie Mellon University are just a month away from launching the first privately-made lunar rover onto the Moon’s surface.
The mission, slated for May the Fourth, will be a milestone for the team and for space exploration in general. The rover, called Iris, weighs just 2 kilograms and will be carried to the moon aboard a United Launch Alliance “Vulcan Centaur” rocket, alongside a multi-purpose payload.
Back on Earth, hundreds of students will be working in teams to send action commands and monitor Iris’s progress as it carries out a 60-hour mission.
The objectives of the mission include demonstrating the rover’s technology and snapping scientifically-relevant images, which will no doubt lead to exciting new discoveries about our lunar neighbor.
“Iris will open up lunar and space exploration by proving that a tiny, lightweight rover built by students can succeed on the moon,” said Raewyn Duvall, commander of the Iris mission.
The launch of Iris will be a historic moment, as it will mark the first time a civilian team has landed a rover on the Moon. It will also be the smallest and lightest rover ever deployed, showcasing the incredible engineering and technological achievements of the team at Carnegie Mellon.
The mission has been years in the making, and the students have conducted dozens of training simulations to ensure they are ready to handle any potential issues that may arise. The launch of Iris is a testament to the power of teamwork, innovation, and a shared passion for space exploration.