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Venturi Group to shoot for the moon in 2026

Astrolab-FLEX-rover-2-compressed
© Venturi Group

This is great news for the Monaco group. In three years, Venturi will send a robot to the moon, in partnership with SpaceX. 

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It is called the FLEX (Flexible Logistics and Exploration) Rover and will be tasked with conducting a number of scientific investigations and experiments on the only natural satellite of planet Earth. The Venturi group first envisaged it in 2019. Its CEO, Gildo Pastor, will be running the electric lunar Rover programme.

Three separate development sites

Three structures for three different areas of expertise. In Monaco, Venturi will focus on the high performance batteries. The test phases are carried out by its American subsidiary, Venturi North America, in Ohio. Back in Europe, just a short distance from the Principality, in Switzerland, the Venturi Lab team is busy creating materials to withstand extreme conditions, high-performance solar panels, deformable wheels and electrical control systems. The aim is for FLEX to be reliable over the very long term, to function in temperatures of between -90°C and -230°C, to withstand radiation and to be able to operate for a fortnight in the dark, at the Moon’s South Pole.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Hawthorne, near Los Angeles, Venturi Astrolab is designing the vehicle’s architecture, its primary structure and mechanics, developing the Rover’s software and avionics, assembling it and carrying out acceptance testing. As for the robot’s aesthetics, they were entrusted to Sacha Lakic, one of the Venturi Group’s longest-serving designers.

  • © Venturi Group

What role does SpaceX play? Elon Musk’s US company will transport the Rover to the moon, using Starship, its spacecraft take-off and landing system.

“Over the past two decades, the Venturi Group has developed some very high-performance and unique electric vehicles. Now it’s time to go further and earn the Venturi Group a place in the history books. On completion of the mission, this rover will be the biggest and most powerful to ever have been sent to the Moon,” Gildo Pastor commented, adding, “This is the greatest project of my professional career.”