SpaceX is a private space company in the United States, founded by billionaire Elon Musk. The company is developing a new rocket, called Starship, that could carry massive amounts of cargo and people to the moon and Mars. Starship has not yet been flight-tested, but many customers have already booked its service.
Recently, a start-up company called Astrolab announced that it has signed an agreement with SpaceX to deliver a lunar rover to the surface of the moon with the Starship in mid-2026. This is SpaceX’s first commercial cargo on the surface of the moon. contract. Astrolab CEO Jarrett Matthews said they were one of a handful of customers for the flight.
Astrolab is building a vehicle that can transport equipment, supplies and people on the moon, called the Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover. The rover is the size of a Jeep Wrangler and slightly larger than NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. It’s also equipped with a robotic arm that helps with loading and unloading and can travel at speeds of 15 miles per hour. In addition, FLEX can also carry two astronauts.
Astrolab claims that when FLEX lands on the moon, it will be the largest rover ever driven on the moon. Astrolab already has some customers waiting to use FLEX to deliver cargo on a 2026 Starship mission, Matthews said. He also said that in the future, FLEX could help establish a permanent lunar base and explore farther afield. “Our ultimate goal is to have a fleet of FLEX rovers on both the Moon and Mars,” he said. “I really think these vehicles are the catalyst to start the extraterrestrial economy.”