The inaugural NASA-backed commercial mission to dispatch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon’s surface is unlikely to reach its planned destination. The lunar lander, known as Peregrine and manufactured by Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic Technology, experienced complications soon after taking off early Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch of the rocket, named Vulcan, went flawlessly, sending Peregrine on its voyage. Nevertheless, an issue with the lander’s propulsion system exhausted its propellant, effectively terminating the mission’s original objective of reaching the moon. “The team is striving to rectify the setback, but given the circumstances, we have focused on maximizing the scientific and data-gathering potential,” Astrobotic said in a statement. The setback has raised questions about NASA’s strategy of depending on small startup ventures for conducting scientific studies on the lunar surface as part of its Artemis program. The failure has prompted NASA to rethink future missions.
NASA Faces Questions as Moon Lander Encounters Malfunction Soon After Launch
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