Australia is taking a giant leap in space exploration as the federal government announces the selection of the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium for Stage 1 of the Trailblazer mission.
The mission is a collaboration between the Australian Space Agency (ASA) and NASA. Fugro, a key partner within the AROSE consortium, recently opened Australia's Space Automation, AI, Robotics Command & control centre (SpAARC) in Perth. SpAARC will be the operational heart of the mission.
The landmark Trailblazer mission will see the design, development, testing, and operation of a lunar foundation services rover; an important Australian contribution to the international Moon-to-Mars programme. The ASA rover’s mission is to collect lunar soil and deliver it to a NASA processing facility on the Moon. This will be the first step to extract oxygen from the Moon’s surface, which will be vital in supporting a sustainable human presence on the Moon, Mars and beyond.
The SpAARC team will lead the Trailblazer project as well as the design of the rover, payload and lunar mission operations. Stage 1 will be complete in 2024 with the current estimated Stage 2 launch date in 2027.
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