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Fribourg’s Venturi Lab takes on lunar exploration


16 May 2023

In a major development for Swiss space exploration, Fribourg-based company Venturi Lab is set to embark on an ambitious lunar mission.

Venturi Lab is part of an international collaboration that aims to launch the FLEX (Flexible Logistics and Exploration) rover, the most powerful and largest lunar vehicle in history, to the Moon in 2026. The company is an integral part of the Monegasque Venturi Group, a company renowned for designing and manufacturing high-performance electric vehicles. In collaboration with SpaceX, the American aerospace manufacturer, the FLEX rover will be transported to the lunar surface using the Starship launch and landing system.

Venturi Lab was co-founded in 2021 in Corminboeuf, a municipality of the canton of Fribourg, by Gildo Pastor and Dr. Antonio Delfino. The company is the product of an impressive collaboration involving a team of passionate and experienced engineers, chemists, and physicists. Their collective expertise spans various fields, including electromobility, fuel cells, materials science, composite materials, processes, software engineering, computer science, space mobility, and polymer science. The team holds over 250 accumulated patents in these areas, demonstrating their commitment to innovation and applied technology.

The FLEX rover project is a testament to the pioneering spirit of Venturi Lab and its parent organization, the Venturi Group. The mission aims to not only send the most advanced rover to the Moon but also to demonstrate the viability of the FLEX rover in conducting scientific experiments and commercial activities. The FLEX rover must withstand harsh lunar conditions, including temperatures between -90°C and -230°C, and operate in the darkness of the Moon’s South Pole for a fortnight.

As Venturi Lab prepares to carve its name into the annals of space exploration, the company is not only advancing Swiss contributions to space mobility but is also making substantial strides in the development of technologies that can withstand the extreme conditions of lunar and Martian environments.

The Fribourg Development Agency has expressed pride in Venturi Group’s decision to develop its R&D activities within Venturi Lab. The successful deployment of the FLEX rover in 2026 will indeed be a significant milestone, not only for the Venturi Group but also for the broader field of space exploration.