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California startup Astrolab unveils lunar rover

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A Los Angeles-area startup founded by a veteran spaceflight robotics engineer unveiled its full-scale, working prototype for a next-generation lunar rover

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The company, Venturi Astrolab Inc, released photos and video showing its Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) vehicle riding over the rugged California desert

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Astrolab executives say the four-wheeled, car-sized FLEX rover is designed for use in NASA's Artemis program

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Aimed at returning humans to the moon as early as 2025 and establishing a long-term lunar colony as a precursor to sending astronauts to Mars.

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Unlike the Apollo-era moon buggies of the 1970s or the current generation of robotic Mars rovers tailored for specialized tasks and experiments

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FLEX is designed as an all-purpose vehicle that can be driven by astronauts or operated by remote control.

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