Astrobotic, the 6-year-old Pittsburgh firm that likes to say it wants to be “FedEx to the moon,” said Thursday it also wants to be the outer space version of another terrestrial delivery operator: the U.S. Postal Service.
The space delivery company, headquartered in the Strip District, announced the creation of its MoonMail service, which Astrobotic CEO John Thornton said will allow “people around the world to have direct participation in missions to the moon.”
According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a keepsake mailer was a tiny hexagonal capsule that sells for US460 dollars or the largest, a 2.5cm by 5cm hexagonal that sells for US25, 800 dollars, News.com.au reported.
Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University are trying to get their lunar rover to the moon to win US20 million dollars in an international contest sponsored by Google to promote privately funded lunar exploration.
The cargo would be regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Defense. As such, Astrobotic expects people will send non-volatile items like wedding rings, locks of hair or other tiny heirlooms.
Under terms of Google’s LunarX prize, the winning rover must travel about 500 metres on the lunar surface by the end of 2015. The device must also be able to transmit video of its progress to Earth.