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Astrobotic's LunaGrid-Lite: Pioneering Lunar Power Transmission!

Astrobotic has won a $34.6 million NASA Tipping Point partnership to demonstrate lunar surface power transmission capabilities using its LunaGrid-Lite system. This will be the first ever power transfer across the Moon's surface.

LunaGrid-Lite will transmit power from a lander to a tethered rover. For the demo, an Astrobotic 6U CubeRover will unroll 1 kilometer of cable from a lander and receive the high voltage electricity. It serves as a pilot for Astrobotic's LunaGrid service, which aims to deliver commercial-scale power to customers on the Moon.

For the system, a lander's solar arrays will generate power. Post-landing, a cable-carrying CubeRover will deploy from the lander, unspooling cable on the surface. It will then transmit 1kW of electricity from the arrays, through the cable, to the rover. Sensors will verify performance throughout.

"LunaGrid-Lite will enable sustainable power for long-term lunar operations like habitats, science, and mining," said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. "With reliable service, both crewed and robotics programs can thrive on the Moon."

The full LunaGrid system will utilize Astrobotic's 20-meter tall Vertical Solar Array Technology, instead of lander arrays, for power generation.

Delivery of the technology aboard an Astrobotic lander as early as 2026 will help push LunaGrid past commercial viability. Advancing critical gap technologies in power conversion, cabling, and deployment will accelerate readiness.

With LunaGrid now fully funded, Astrobotic aims to deploy the service before 2030 to support NASA's Artemis program, CLPS, space agencies, and businesses on the Moon. Reliable power will be key to sustainable lunar operations.

Last year, Astrobotic acquired Masten Space Systems and its portfolio of proven landing and mobility IP developed over 18 years. This demonstrated technology further boosts Astrobotic's lunar delivery capabilities.

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