MILO will offer members the opportunity to propose science objectives for future Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions. Members will work with ASU scientists and Lockheed Martin engineers to define mission objectives and requirements. Members will build their payloads to be integrated on the McCandless Lunar Lander by Lockheed Martin. By working with the MILO Institute, members will gain access to teaming opportunities with other universities, and guidance from experts to help in the development and delivery of lunar payloads. Payload delivery services include: lander integration, launch, lunar transfer, landing, and operations. Payloads can access lander space, power, data, telemetry, and thermal shielding as required.

Apophis Pathfinder

The MILO Institute is designing a dedicated mission to perform the first-ever close flyby of the 370 meter (1,100 feet) diameter asteroid (99942) Apophis, launching in 2025-2026 and reaching the asteroid within approximately one year. MILO's Apophis Pathfinder mission will conduct a precursor flyby several years before the asteroid passes within Earth’s geosynchronous satellite ring, to feed forward discoveries for future investigations of the asteroid. The mission will use a pair of small spacecraft to provide initial reconnaissance data designed to increase knowledge of the asteroid's orbit, to provide initial geologic and compositional information, and to estimate its mass.


The NEOShare mission will launch a cluster of CubeSat/SmallSat-class spacecraft to perform a close flyby of a diverse set of near-Earth asteroids. Each spacecraft will fly by a different target body, with the possibility of encountering up to 10 different asteroids in total.

More than 20,000 NEOs have known orbital characteristics. Only 5 have been visited by robotic missions. About 10% of NEOs are characterized as Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHOs)


  • LunaRide launch opportunities in 2023, 2024, and beyond
  • Apophis Pathfinder launch planned in 2025-2026
  • NEOShare launch planned in 2027 

Science Objectives

  • Inform future planetary defense strategies
  • Understand the evolution of Near Earth Objects (NEOs)
  • Investigate diversity of sizes, compositions, spectra, inferred densities, porosities, binaries, etc.
  • Characterize the geology and composition/mineralogy of lunar landing environments
  • Study the moon’s origin, evolution, and resource inventory
  • Increase knowledge of lunar radiation environment, microbe development potential, and fragile lunar atmosphere
  • Feed forward science for future human and robotic space exploration
  • Deepen our understanding of the formation of our solar system


Knowledge would be obtained using data from small and high-heritage payload elements like visible to near-IR and thermal imagers, near-IR point or imaging spectrometers, and deep space radio communications systems.

We welcome your ideas!

IP and data rights (based on the Hubble model)

  • Spacecraft and component designs are proprietary to provider and institute, if desired.
  • Design information is never released to the public without member agreement.
  • Science data is shared among all MILO members immediately and embargoed from public release for a year.