'We've worked for years toward this mission, and to have a launch date on the calendar is an exciting step,' said Raewyn Duvall, the commander of the Iris mission.
A group of university students is making history by launching the first privately-made lunar rover onto the moon's surface. Known as Iris, the rover was designed at Carnegie Mellon University's Pittsburgh campus and weighs just 2 kilograms. The launch is scheduled for May 4, coinciding with the unofficial holiday of the Star Wars franchise. The mission's objectives are to demonstrate Iris's technology and take scientifically-relevant images. The rover will be carried to the moon aboard a United Launch Alliance "Vulcan Centaur" rocket along with a multi-purpose payload. Back at the control center, students will work in teams and shifts to send action commands, monitor the rover's health, and track its progress as it carries out a 60-hour mission.
"Hundreds of students have poured thousands of hours into Iris. We've worked for years toward this mission, and to have a launch date on the calendar is an exciting step," said Raewyn Duvall according to GOOD NEWS NETWORK, the commander of the Iris mission. "Iris will open up lunar and space exploration by proving that a tiny, lightweight rover built by students can succeed on the moon."
The upcoming Iris mission will establish several precedents. Till now, only the US, Japan, and Russia have launched rovers to the moon, making Duvall's team the first civilian group to achieve this feat. Additionally, Iris will be the tiniest and most lightweight rover ever to embark on a lunar mission. To ensure the success of the mission, the team at CMU has conducted dozens of training simulations in preparation for the May 4 launch. These simulations aim to prepare the team to handle potential issues that may arise during the mission's primary and extended phases.
Onboard the rocket carrying Iris, another privately-made space machine, The Peregrine lander, will also be present. The Peregrine was made by private space company Astrobiotic and will serve as a delivery platform for astronauts working on the Lunar surface in the next 20 years.
The Iris mission is an exciting step for the future of space exploration. It showcases the potential of privately-made technology and how students can contribute to the advancement of space exploration. The mission will inspire future generations to pursue careers in space quests and innovation.
The launch of Iris also highlights the importance of continued investment in space exploration. As more countries and companies explore space, the benefits to humanity continue to grow. From technological advancements to the potential for space tourism, the future of space exploration is an exciting frontier with endless possibilities.
The Iris mission represents a significant milestone in space exploration. A team of university students is leading the way in privately-made lunar rovers, and the success of the mission will be a testament to their hard work and dedication. As we look forward to the launch in May, we can anticipate the advancements and benefits that will arise from continued investment in space exploration.