NASA Selects Pioneer Astronautics to Test Dust Repellent Coating for Lunar Surface Missions

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Pioneer Astronautics, powered by Voyager Space (Voyager), today announced the company has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA to test the effectiveness of Clear Dust Repellent Coating (CDRC) technology on an upcoming Lunar mission. This will help expand the scientific understanding of Lunar dust interaction with modern materials, which is critical for a broad range of exploration technologies.

CDRC is a clear coating that can be applied to many surfaces and components as a passive dust mitigation method with the potential to reduce technical and safety risks for Lunar elements including NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit, Lunar Terrain Vehicle, pressurized rovers, and other future lunar surface assets.

“Dust mitigation is a critical challenge facing both private and public lunar surface missions,” said Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, Pioneer Astronautics. “This partnership with NASA provides a unique opportunity to test our dust repellent technology under real space conditions, providing critical data for the continued development of this technology to support further lunar exploration and future habitation.”

As part of this Space Act Agreement, Pioneer Astronautics will apply the coating to the outer surface of an existing EVA suit. The EVA suit material with CDRC will be packaged to fit on a sample container that will be incorporated into the Regolith Adherence Characterization (RAC) payload planned to launch on an awarded NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) task order with Firefly Aerospace Inc. Pioneer Astronautics will gather data on the efficacy of the coating following mission completion.

“We are incredibly excited about this agreement as it represents Voyager’s first lunar mission,” said Mike Bowker, Vice President of Business Development, Voyager. “Pioneer’s dust repellent coating has the potential to transform hardware operations on the Moon while also offering opportunities to support numerous industrial bases on Earth. Voyager hopes to play a key role in lunar exploration and Pioneer’s work is a critical first step.”

About Voyager Space

Voyager Space is a space technology company dedicated to building a better future for humanity in space and on Earth. With nearly 20 years of spaceflight heritage and over 1500 successful missions as of Fall 2022, Voyager delivers space station infrastructure and services and technology solutions to commercial users, civil and national security government agencies, academic and research institutions, and more, with the goal to accelerate a sustainable space economy.

About Pioneer Astronautics

Pioneer Astronautics, powered by Voyager Space, is an aerospace research and development company dedicated to inventing and proving new technologies to advance humanity’s reach into space and to improve life on Earth. Over the course of its 24 year history, the company has executed over 70 highly-successful R&D programs for NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and private corporations. While its programs have covered a wide range of applications ranging from rocket propulsion to life support systems to high altitude balloon technology, Pioneer’s central focus has been in the area of “In Situ Resource Utilization” (ISRU) which is critical for long-term, sustainable space exploration efforts.

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SOURCE Voyager Space