Peregrine Mission-1: ‘Anomaly’ detected on US lunar lander heading for moon

Peregrine Mission-1: ‘Anomaly’ detected on US lunar lander heading for moon

Private lunar lander Peregrine Mission-1, the first US spacecraft due to land on the moon’s surface since Apollo 17 in 1972, suffered an “anomaly” that experts are trying to resolve. The lander was scheduled to land on the moon on February 23.

Peregrine Mission-1 – which took off earlier today appeared to lift off into space as planned but the US firm Astrobotic, controlling the launch, said an “anomaly” occurred when the lander entered a safe operational state after the activation of propulsion systems successfully. The anomaly is preventing the lander from “achieving a stable sun-pointing orientation”. 

After successfully separating from United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, the Peregrine lander began receiving telemetry via the NASA Deep Space Network, Astrobotic said.

The firm further added that “the avionics systems, including the primary command and data handling unit, as well as the thermal, propulsion, and power controllers, all powered on and performed as expected.”

“After successful propulsion systems activation, Peregrine entered a safe operational state. Unfortunately, an anomaly then occurred, which prevented Astrobotic from achieving a stable sun-pointing orientation. The team is responding in real-time as the situation unfolds and will be providing updates as more data is obtained and analysed,” Astrobotic statement read.

Besides the five scientific instruments of NASA,’ the Peregrine Mission-1 was carrying remains of several Star Trek cast members and the DNA of three former US presidents: George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and John F Kennedy.

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Astrobotic chief executive John Thornton has previously said that the craft will spend 12 days in transit between the Earth and lunar orbit but the bulk of the time will be waiting, circling the moon, for the “local lighting conditions” of the team’s landing site to be correct.

NASA’s new Artemis programme, which is named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, looks to return astronauts to the moon’s surface within the next few years, the space agency has said.


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Published: 08 Jan 2024, 09:10 PM IST

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