In this weeks Space Economy podcast my special guest is Jaret Matthews, founder and CEO of Astrolab.
Jaret and I discussed his new venture which is singularly focused on building a multipurpose rover with lunar, terrestrial and eventually Mars applications. Jaret’s new startup builds upon 20 years of his and his colleagues work experience at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SpaceX and other companies.
The company has quietly been working in stealth mode for several years. It’s only now that they’re coming out. Their Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover isn’t just a design concept. They have prototype that’s already been tested by former astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is an advisor.
Hadfield participated in the five-day field and said this of the prototype rover. “As we transition from the Apollo era, which was focused on pure exploration, to now, where people will be living for longer periods on the Moon, the equipment needs to change. When we settle somewhere, we don’t just need to get people from one place to another, but we need to move hardware, cargo, life support equipment and more. And it’s all dependent on mobility. It was not only a joy to drive FLEX but also see its size, capability and get an intuitive sense of what this rover can do.”