A new page will be written in the history of Monaco in 2026 when the Venturi FLEX Rover departs Earth on a SpaceX expedition to the Moon.
The Flexible Logistics and Exploration Rover – known as FLEX for short – is the culmination of a project that was first conceived in the Principality in 2019 by the Venturi Group’s president, Gildo Pastor.
Now a highly skilled international team of engineers and scientists from the fields of space mobility, terrestrial and planetary robotics, advanced technology research, electromobility, fuel cells and batteries, hydrogen storage, composite materials and processes manufacturing, and hailing from Monaco, Switzerland and the US, is seeing its dreams become reality with the inclusion of the FLEX Rover in SpaceX’s 2026 lunar operation.
“The time has come to go further and put the Venturi Group in the history books…”
“Over the past two decades the Venturi Group has developed some truly unique, high performance electric vehicles,” says Pastor. “The time has come to go further and put the Venturi Group in the history books… Upon completion of this mission, the FLEX rover will be the largest and most capable rover ever to travel to the Moon. This is an extraordinary achievement and one that is a highlight of my professional life, a life that has always been characterised by innovation, adventure and the realisation of dreams I was told were impossible to fulfill. As important as this milestone is, I know it’s just the first of many that Venturi and Astrolab will achieve.”
The rover itself is revoluntionary. As the unique characteristics of the lunar environment impose “a multitude of challenges”, FLEX has been designed to withstand temperatures of -90°C to -230°C, resist radiation and be operational for at least a fortnight in the pitch blackness of the southern pole of the Moon.
“The rover will have to be able to traverse semi-autonomously, be piloted by the astronauts on board, be commanded from the future station in lunar orbit, and also from Earth,” say the team behind its design.
“We have created much more than a rover for use on the Moon or Mars,” says Jaret Matthews, the founder and CEO of Venturi Astrolab, the US branch of the partnership. “FLEX is a logistics system capable of handling a wide variety of cargo. We believe that this approach will enable a permanent lunar outpost to be established on the Moon at a lower cost and in less time than expected. We are delighted that this contract with SpaceX will allow Venturi Astrolab to demonstrate the benefits of the FLEX rover and its modular payload system.”
Photo credit: Venturi