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NASA OKs Student-Made Robot for Lunar Flight

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Students from Carnegie Mellon University have received NASA's approval for their lunar exploration robot to land on the moon.

The wheeled robot, known as Iris, has passed the agency's critical design review that is required for clearance to operate on the lunar surface, CMU said Tuesday.

Iris will fly aboard the Peregrine lander made by Astrobotic Inc. and land on the Moon in fall next year. Astrobotic helped NASA conduct the critical design review.

The robot is designed to support small research groups exploring the lunar surface. Astrobotic wants to commercialize Iris into the CubeRover product series. The CMU team will install Iris' flight-tailored components this summer. 

Astrobotic will provide NASA with 14 scientific payloads under a contract.