By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Astrobotic’s MoonRanger is moving into the final phase of its production.

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The MoonRanger passed a review by NASA and is now in the final stage of “payload preparation.”

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“MoonRanger will be the first truly autonomous micro-rover on the lunar surface,” said Joe Zimo, Lead Systems Engineer for Planetary Mobility at Astrobotic. “It is designed to map its surroundings and make intelligent navigational decisions based on what it sees without being guided, supervised, or teleoperated from Earth.”

The plan for MoonRanger, an autonomous rover, is to explore the moon’s south pole in 2022.

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Once it lands on the moon, it will become the first truly autonomous micro-rover to travel the moon’s surface.