Leading South Australian-based space exploration company, Fleet Space Technologies, has announced its SPIDER seismic technology is set to land on the Moon’s surface in 2026 aboard Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost lunar lander.
Earlier this year, Fleet Space was awarded a $4 million grant by the Australian Space Agency to develop a geophysical device that can deliver insight about the subsurface of the Moon’s South Pole and search for water ice deposits.
A variant of the company’s terrestrial EXOSPHERE BY FLEET® technology, the Seismic Payload for Interplanetary Discovery, Exploration and Research (SPIDER) will leverage the latest advances in Ambient Noise Tomography to record the natural seismic waves in the Moon’s subsurface continuously for 14 days.
Fleet’s Co-founder and Chief Exploration Officer, Matt Pearson, explained that this will be the first Australian seismic technology to land on the Moon, and shared the company is proud to take the first step of Australia’s 7 Sisters mission to explore the Moon and Mars in alignment with NASA’s Artemis Program.
“Humanity is on the brink of making tremendous strides in our scientific understanding of the lunar regolith by using advanced seismic technologies to acquire deeper insights about the Moon’s subsurface,” he said.
“Fleet is honoured to contribute our ground-breaking passive seismic technology to advance research that will enable the development of permanent infrastructure capable of supporting human life on other worlds.”
This will be the second lunar mission for Firefly Aerospace and will include payloads from NASA and the European Space Agency as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
Spacecraft Missions Manager at Firefly Aerospace, Farah Zuberi, shared the company’s excitement of working with Fleet.
“The Fleet team shares Firefly’s passion for space exploration, which makes us very excited to work together and integrate SPIDER into our Blue Ghost Mission 2 lander,” Ms Zuberi said.
“The payload science we’re able to support with our lunar missions, thanks to NASA CLPS, will be incredibly valuable in supporting human space exploration, as well as providing a better understanding of our closest celestial neighbour.”
Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, said the Agency is proud to have supported the development of SPIDER via the Moon to Mars Initiative.
“SPIDER embodies high-tech Australian ingenuity that can make Australia a valuable contributor to international lunar exploration efforts as part of NASA’s Artemis program,” said Mr Palermo.
“Fleet’s partnership with Firefly Aerospace is an important milestone as we seek to showcase more unique Australian technologies in space.”