On Saturday 27 May 2023, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco visited Venturi Group’s Monegasque headquarters.
Welcomed by the Group’s President, Gildo Pastor, the Sovereign was invited to take a historic first look at the lunar rover “FLEX”, developed by Venturi Astrolab (USA) in collaboration with Venturi Lab (Switzerland) and Venturi (Monaco).
FLEX will be the largest and most advanced lunar vehicle ever made. It will be landed on the surface of the Moon by American firm SpaceX in 2026.
Since 2000, the Venturi Group has specialised in the design and manufacture of high-performance electric vehicles. Whether through world records, expeditions on hostile terrain, the creation of the first electric sports car, the development of innovative vehicles or its involvement in the Formula E World Championship, the Venturi Group embodies and demonstrates all the capabilities of the electric vehicle on 2 or 4 wheels.
Since 2021, Venturi Lab is part of the Venturi Group. The company invents, studies, designs and manufactures mobility solutions capable of handling the extreme environmental conditions found on the Moon and Mars. In 2026, Venturi Astrolab’s FLEX rover – for which the Venturi Group will have designed and manufactured innovative technologies resulting from disruptive innovations – will be in operation on the Moon.
Venturi Astrolab, Inc (Astrolab) is on a mission to advance humanity to the next horizon by designing, building and operating a fleet of versatile rovers for all planetary surface needs. Comprised of a highly specialised team of former NASA, SpaceX and JPL engineers, Astrolab is dedicated to providing adaptive mobility solutions essential to life beyond Earth. The team has leading experience in terrestrial and planetary robotics, electric vehicles, human spaceflight and more. Astrolab’s extensive experience and strategic partnerships with a wide range of world-class institutions, including the electric vehicle pioneer Venturi Group, allow for the most reliable, flexible and cost-effective lunar and Mars mobility offerings. The company’s headquarters are located in Hawthorne, California.
It was in 2019, under the impetus of Venturi Group’s President, Gildo Pastor, that the electric lunar rover programme was imagined and then put in place. A Swiss entity, Venturi Lab S.A., was created. At the same time, a strategic partnership was created with an American-owned company based in Los Angeles (Hawthorne), Venturi Astrolab, Inc (Astrolab).
The harsh lunar environment imposes a multitude of challenges for the system. For example, FLEX must be reliable over the very long term, withstand temperatures of between -90°C and -230°C, resist radiation and be able to operate for a fortnight in the darkness of the South Pole of the Moon. There is also the constraint of the vehicle’s control modes. 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.
Astrolab and Venturi Lab work with Venturi Group’s historic base in Monaco. Together, the three companies are designing, developing and building the FLEX rover. As early as 2026, FLEX – deposited by the Starship launch and landing system on the surface of the moon – will become operational. It will demonstrate its efficiency, viability and capacity to conduct scientific experiments and commercial activities.
Venturi Lab was co-founded in 2021 by Gildo Pastor and Dr. Antonio Delfino in Corminboeuf, in the Canton of Fribourg (Switzerland). The team is made up of experienced and passionate engineers, chemists and physicists who hold over 250 accumulated patents in the fields of electromobility, fuel cells, materials science, composite materials, processes, software engineering, computer science, space mobility and polymer science. Each engineer has over 20 years of experience in applied technology. Together they design and build new space mobility components and materials, resilient to the extreme environmental conditions of the Moon and Mars.
ELEVATE Monte-Carlo Space & Sustainability Conference
October 17-19, 2023; Grimaldi Forum
ELEVATE Monte-Carlo is the leading European Space event focusing education, technology and the environmental and social impact of human space exploration.
The 3-day conference will inspire the participants with amazing stories of spaceflights and spacewalks from former Astronauts’ journey beyond the edge of space, as well as the evolution of their perspective on humanity; to zoom out to a greater perspective where we can see one planet as one borderless spaceship, called planet Earth. This can foster collaborative environments where teammates can achieve their true potential.
With this perspective, the ELEVATE Space Conference encourages participants, businesses and professionals to view and live their lives as if they would be crew mates with others on a spaceship, respecting differences and enhancing collaboration through diversity. Every small step in our daily lives counts to create a more liveable and conscious planet.
Further information: https://elevatemontecarlo.com/