Astrobotic Technology

4551 Forbes Avenue
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15313
John Thornton, President

Phone: 412-682-3282

ANSYS is an official sponsor of Astrobotic Technology Inc.’s Tranquility Trek™ mission, which involves developing a rocket-launched robot as part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. As sponsor, ANSYS is providing its multiphysics engineering simulation software in the development of the robot, lander and payload adapter as the company races to become the first privately funded team to reach the Moon. Through the use of tools from ANSYS, Astrobotic Technology is simulating the effectiveness of machinery and materials performance under extreme fluctuations in lunar conditions — all to be conducted prior to sending the robot to the Moon. The project will pave the way for human exploration and eventual tapping of lunar resources for export to Earth.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million competition to encourage privately funded teams to send a robot to the Moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth. U.S.-based Astrobotic is one of 21 teams from around the world participating in the competition. The company, which has identified a 2011 launch date, already is field-testing prototype Moon robots.

Astrobotic Technology Inc. was founded by Red Whittaker, a world leader in advanced field robotics. The company is a spin-off from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where initial prototypes of its Moon robot have been designed and tested. The first mission of Astrobotic Technology, the Tranquility Trek™, will launch to the Moon on a commercially available booster, win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and show the world the Apollo 11 site in high-definition video. Tranquility Trek will demonstrate the first precision robotic landing on another world, essential to Astrobotic’s long-term business of supporting the science objectives and lunar outposts of NASA and other space agencies. For more information, visit

Astrobotics Robot being developed for Google Lunar X Competition

Thermal analysis of the rover using ANSYS Mechanical

Latest Updates

Robots Race to the Moon: ANSYS sponsors Astrobotic Technology (PDF)

Astrobotic Technology - Google Lunar X Space Exploration Robot (PDF)