It has been determined that the first Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission from NASA has successfully arrived to the Moon; however, the Peregrine lander from Astrobotic will not touch down on the surface as planned. Almost immediately after takeoff, the spacecraft experienced a fuel leak, which completely obliterated any possibility of landing. It has been reported by Astrobotic that the craft has around one day of life left in it, despite the fact that it has lasted longer than anticipated.
Following the successful completion of the first flight of the ULA Vulcan Centaur rocket, the corporation quickly reported the “anomaly” that occurred following the launch of the Peregrine spacecraft into orbit. The automation system was successful in bringing all of the spacecraft’s systems online; nevertheless, the spacecraft stubbornly refused to rotate in order to point its solar panels in the appropriate direction. Eventually, Astrobotic arrived at the conclusion that Peregrine was being pushed by gasoline that was leaking.
It was previously reported by Astrobotic that the lander would be dead within a day; however, the rate of leakage has slowed down as the pressure in the tanks has lowered. The thrusters have been working overtime to keep the craft orientated. The team has been able to add several extra days to Peregrine’s life as a result of this advancement. As of the time that this report was made, the spacecraft should have a little more than twenty-four hours left, according to the most recent calculations provided by Astrobotic.
In order to get as much information as possible from the probe before it runs out of fuel, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the firm are collaborating. In its early stages, Astrobotic’s primary objective was to achieve the closest possible proximity to the Moon, and it was successful in doing so. With a distance of over 225,000 miles, the Peregrine Falcon has journeyed approximately 94% of the way to the Moon.
Although the instruments of the lander were developed for use on the surface of the Moon, they will also be able to perform some important analysis when they are in cislunar space due to their design. Four out of the five instruments are currently connected to the internet and are gathering data that, if nothing else, will assist in defining the performance of those instruments for the subsequent time that they are flown. On top of that, the probe is equipped with a laser reflector array that is only able to function once it has landed.
Update #13 for Peregrine Mission One: pic.twitter.com/boDu78hmoh— Astrobotic (@astrobotic) January 12, 2024
Astrobotic is being praised by NASA for its perseverance and hard work, which is a great note to hear from the space agency. On the other hand, this must be a significant source of dissatisfaction behind the scenes. NASA’s first CLPS mission was called Peregrine, and it would have been the first time the United States had attempted to land on the moon since the Apollo Program was terminated in 1972. Rather, it is only another failed mission, similar to Luna-25 and Hakuto-R, which serves to remind us that traveling to the Moon is not a simple task simply because it has been accomplished in the past.
This past week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed a revised schedule for the Artemis lunar program. The Artemis II crewed lunar orbit has been pushed back to the late summer of 2025, and the Artemis III lunar landing is now scheduled to take place the following year. It is true that this provides NASA with additional time to perform additional CLPS missions in the meanwhile.