Astrobotic to build solar power grid for use by others on Moon

Astrobotic's proposed lunar electric grid

Capitalism in space: Astrobotic yesterday announced its plan to build a solar power system on the Moon, using its rovers, thus reducing the weight and cost of other projects.

The graphic to the right illustrates how the system will work. First, vertically deployed solar panels, attached to a small rover, will unfold to produce power. These can be placed in many locations, thus providing each location a source of electricity. Second, an additional rover will be linked to the panel, providing power storage and a moveable wireless charger for transferring power to a customer’s equipment.

Astrobotic plans to begin deploying and demonstrating LunaGrid elements as early as 2026 with the goal of the first operational LunaGrid by 2028 at the lunar south pole. With LunaGrid power service available, a host of science, exploration, and commercial activity can begin sustained and continuous operation.

The biggest advantage of this proposed grid concept is its scalability. To provide more power Astrobotic need only send more panels to a location. The more the merrier. And all can be built in an assembly-line manner, thus making construction very cheap and efficient.