This Object Represents a New Approach to Moon Exploration

The Peregrine test model is the first commercial lunar lander in the National Air and Space Museum collection

Peregrine Lunar Lander
Museum specialists care for the Peregrine Lunar Lander in the National Air and Space Museum's Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar.  Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

This past summer, the National Air and Space Museum acquired a test model of the Peregrine Lunar Lander for its forthcoming Futures in Space gallery, which is anticipated to open in 2026. Matthew Shindell, the gallery’s curator, says Peregrine, the Museum’s first commercial lander, “represents a new type of lunar mission, and hopes for a new lunar economy, in that it carries not only NASA instruments but also instruments and cultural artifacts from other countries, organizations, and private companies.”

Astrobotic dressed up the test model to resemble the flight version, including representations of many of the payloads. Among the model payloads are two small rovers, Carnegie Mellon’s Iris and Astrobotic’s CubeRover.

Prior to display, the lander requires cleaning and some minor repairs. “It is also very important to do complete documentation of newly accessioned objects,” says Deborah Parr, a conservator at the Museum. “The documentation helps us track changes in the condition over time.”

This article is from the Fall issue of Air & Space Quarterly, the National Air and Space Museum's signature magazine that explores topics in aviation and space, from the earliest moments of flight to today. Explore the full issue.

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