Meet Iris, a lunar rover that built by students that is now ready for the Moon

An American lunar rover is all set to land on the Moon but before you assume that it is from NASA, pause. Because Iris is not coming from the premier space agency of the United States but has in fact been built by faculty, students, and alumni of Carnegie Mellon University.

A representational photo of Iris lunar rover. (Twitter/@cmu_iris)
A representational photo of Iris lunar rover.

Even as NASA too prepares for a November of 2024 landing of its own lunar rover called VIPER, it is Iris that will touch down on the Moon much sooner - May 4 to be absolutely specific. The lightweight lunar rover has taken several years to become a reality and according to a press statement from the Carnegie Mellon University, it is now ready to board the Peregrine lunar lander for its flight to the Moon.

Once the Iris lands on the Moon, it will conduct a 60-hour mission — taking photos and sending them back to Earth. And much of its abilities here is thanks to factors such as it being the smallest and lightest rover, and the first with both a carbon fiber chassis and wheels. "We've worked for years toward this mission, and to have a launch date on the calendar is an exciting step," Raewyn Duvall, commander of the Iris mission, said. “Iris will open up lunar and space exploration by proving that a tiny, lightweight rover built by students can succeed on the moon."

First Published Date: 31 Mar 2023, 15:54 PM IST
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