Venturi Astrolab's FLEX rover to launch to the Moon on an upcoming SpaceX mission
1 April 2023
Within three years, the Monegasque Venturi group will write the most impressive page in its history: in 2026, the FLEX explorer, the result of an international collaboration (see below), it will set course for the Moon. The American company SpaceX will be in charge of transporting the explorer, which will be the largest and most capable in the history of lunar vehicles. SpaceX will use its Starship launch and landing system to transport the FLEX to the lunar surface.
HISTORY AND PROGRAM
It was in 2019, under the impulse of the president of the Venturi Group , Gildo Pastor , when the electric lunar explorer program was imagined and then launched. A Swiss entity, Venturi Lab SA, was created At the same time, a strategic partnership was created with an American company based in Los Angeles (Hawthorne), Venturi Astrolab, Inc (Astrolab).
Astrolab and Venturi Lab work with the historical base of the Venturi Group in Monaco. Together, the three companies are designing, developing and building the FLEX vehicle.
Already in 2026, the FLEX - deposited by the Starship launch and landing system on the surface of the Moon - will come into operation. It will demonstrate its effectiveness, feasibility and ability to carry out scientific experiments and commercial activities.
STRUCTURE AND EXPERIENCE
The collective team includes engineers and scientists from the fields of space mobility, terrestrial and planetary robotics, industry, development, advanced technological research, electromobility, fuel cells and batteries, hydrogen storage, composite materials and process manufacturing.
- Each company brings the following specialized knowledge:
- Venturi Group in Monaco is dedicated to high performance batteries. In this, it is accompanied for the test phases by its American subsidiary, Venturi North America ( Ohio , USA). This affiliate is located at The Ohio State University and works closely with its mechanical engineering students.
- Venturi Lab creates materials resistant to extreme conditions (low temperatures and radiation), high performance solar panels, deformable wheels and electrical control systems. It also manages relations with ESA.
- Venturi Astrolab designs the architecture of the vehicle, its primary structure and mechanisms, develops its software and avionics, assembles it and performs validation tests.
Designer Sacha Lakic has been inspired by human factors and the aesthetic design of the vehicle. Lakic has long collaborated on the design of innovative Venturi Group vehicles .