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CMU rover, art package going to moon

PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University is sending a robotic rover and an art package to the moon.

The rover, which is being developed by a CMU team, is equipped with video cameras. It will land in July 2021 and will be one of the first American rovers to explore the moon’s surface, according to CMU.

“We are excited to expand our knowledge of the moon and develop lunar technology that will assist NASA in its goal of landing astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024,” J. Michael McQuade, CMU’s vice president of research, said.

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The art package that will be sent to the moon with the rover is called MoonArk and was created by Lowry Burgess, a space artist and professor emeritus in the CMU School of Art.

“The eight-ounce MoonArk has four elaborate chambers that contain hundreds of images, poems, music, nano-objects, mechanisms and earthly samples intertwined through complex narratives that blur the boundaries between worlds seen and unseen,” a news release from the school said.


A Peregrine lander built and operated by CMU spinoff company Astrobotic Inc. will deliver the rover to the moon.

According to CMU, the landing will be on the near side of the moon, in the area of Lacus Mortis, or Lake of Death.

Lacus Mortis has a large pit the size of Heinz Field that is of “considerable scientific interest.” CMU said its rover will provide the first ground-level imagery of the site.