The central element of the lander that will carry Astrobotic's expedition to the lunar surface is a 10-foot diameter base plate, now being machined at Edgar Industries in New Kensington, PA. The plate, also known as the lander deck, started as two slabs of solid aluminum before being joined via stir welding at CTC in Johnstown, PA.
Edgar is hollowing out the slab with a series of pockets on the underside to reduce its mass. The deck is expected to arrive at Carnegie Mellon's Planetary Robotics Lab by the weekend, where upper and lower cones will be attached. The upper cone supports the rover, and the lower cone connects the lander to the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
The lander deck being machined at Edgar Industries