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Advanced Navigation awarded $5.2m Moon to Mars grant

Advanced Navigation has won a new $5.2 million grant to develop technology that makes it safer and easier for lunar landers to touch down on the Moon’s surface.

Its LUNA sensor takes the guesswork out of navigation by using velocity and altitude information instead of visual references that can fail due to a lack of light or dust.

The investment was awarded by the Australian Space Agency as part of the Moon to Mars Initiative: Demonstrator program.

Space Connect previously reported how the NSW-based business hopes to be the “first Australian company to operate on the moon” when its Boreas X90 and LiDAV systems are used by US transportation company Intuitive Machines.


Intuitive Machines is planning three moon missions with NASA that will deliver at least two lunar communication relay satellites by 2025.

Advanced Navigation co-founder Xavier Orr said on Wednesday said the technology will enable reliable navigation on the lunar surface and serve as a catalyst for autonomous space exploration and transportation.

“We are humbled the Australian Space Agency has awarded Advanced Navigation a Demonstrator Mission Grant as it represents a pivotal milestone in the company’s trajectory, as we embark to be among the first Australian technologies to reach the moon,” he said.

“Our work with Intuitive Machines will enhance Australia’s sovereign space capabilities, further unlock the commercial space economy, and ignite a new era of innovation as we push the boundaries of scientific discoveries and exploration on the moon and beyond.”


Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo said upcoming space technology will improve the safety and reliability of complex autonomous landing manoeuvres, and in turn, improve confidence in exploring the lunar surface.

“The projects being supported show just some of the many ways that space technologies are improving how we live and how we work,” he said.

“By helping Australian organisations like Advanced Navigation to develop their space heritage, they can break into new markets and supply chains and take their innovative Aussie technology to the world.

“That will help them to grow, keep their ideas in Australia and generate more employment opportunities here.”

Advanced Navigation has previously been a recipient of the Moon to Mars: Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grant from the Australian Space Agency.

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