Malfunction in private US lunar mission SNat Salzburger

Malfunction in private US lunar mission | Salzburger

According to the company, there was a malfunction shortly after the start of a US mission aimed at the first successful commercial landing on the Moon. Initially, the launch went as planned and the systems worked as expected, the company Astrobotic announced. Pittsburgh on Monday. “Unfortunately, there was a disturbance that prevented Astrobotic from assuming a stable position facing the sun.”

According to initial investigations, this was probably due to a failure in the unit, it was said shortly afterwards. If this is confirmed, the planned soft landing on the Moon would also be at risk. Additionally, the battery charge has now reached a low level. Staff are responding to the situation and will provide more information as it becomes available, he said.

The “Peregrine” lander was launched from Cape Canaveral spaceport on Monday morning aboard a “Vulcan Centaur” rocket manufactured by ULA. The capsule was expected to land on Earth's satellite in late February, in an area called Sinus Viscositatis (Bay of Grip), and complete the first unmanned U.S. landing on the Moon since the Apollo mission more than 50 years ago.

In April 2023, a Japanese company failed a similar mission, the company Ispace citing an incorrect calculation of the lander's altitude during the landing attempt.

With the “Pilgrim Mission 1”, private individuals were able to buy space to transport material to the Moon in the landing module, which is 1.9 meters high and 2.5 meters in diameter. The North American space agency NASA also wants to prepare its own expeditions for Earth's companions with various travel devices. NASA would like to examine, among other things, the lunar exosphere during the mission. In addition, the thermal properties and hydrogen content of the lunar surface material (regolith) will be investigated.