In early May, students at Carnegie Mellon University will launch a tiny, lightweight rover called the Iris. This
In total, about 300 students worked on Iris,which will go to the Moon aboard the Peregrine lander. The United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket will send the payload into space. Iris will be the first American student-designed lunar rover, as well as the smallest and lightest rover.
“We have been working on this mission for years, and the dateLaunching on the calendar is an exciting move. Iris will open up lunar and space exploration by proving that a tiny, lightweight student-built rover can succeed on the Moon,” explains Ravin Duvall, Iris mission commander.
The rocket will be launched from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The flight to the moon will take about a month. Once deployed, Iris will conduct a 60-hour mission.
Although the US Aerospace Agencysent five rover robots to Mars, NASA refused to send them to the Moon for a long time. However, the agency has begun work on its VIPER rover, which will land on Earth's natural satellite on November 10, 2024.
Iris will be controlled by the employees of the CenterCarnegie Mellon Mission Control on the Pittsburgh campus. Students on the mission team ran simulations for weeks; they will work in shifts to monitor and control the robot in various situations.
In addition to sending the rover to the moon before NASA,Carnegie Mellon University will also be the first to send an artifact there from Earth. As part of the MoonArk project, students recorded hundreds of images, poems, music, nano-objects, diagrams and more.
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