An unusual situation occurred with the private lunar module Peregrine launched into space

An unusual situation occurred with the private lunar module Peregrine launched into space

Astrobotic specialists on January 8, 2024 reported, which are trying to resolve an out-of-hours situation that occurred a few hours ago with the Peregrine Lunar Module launched into space. The project team managed to deal with the incident remotely, but the mission may be in jeopardy due to lack of fuel.

“After successfully separating from the Vulcan rocket, the Peregrine spacecraft began receiving telemetry via NASA’s Long Space Communications Network. The control and avionics systems, including the main control and data processing unit, as well as the thermal, propulsion and power controllers of the vehicle, have been activated and are operating as intended. After successfully activating the propulsion units, the Peregrine went into operational mode. Unfortunately, an anomaly occurred that prevented the vehicle from performing a maneuver to achieve a stable orientation with respect to the Sun. The project team is monitoring the situation in real time,” Astrobotic said.

“We continue to collect data and report new information. Project team
believes that the likely cause of the unstable solar guidance is a propulsion anomaly that, if confirmed, would threaten the spacecraft’s ability to make a soft landing on the Moon. Specialists continue to try to eliminate the problem. But time goes by, the spaceship’s battery is discharging, it has reached a low operational level in terms of this parameter.

Shortly before the planned outage period, the project team designed and executed an improvised maneuver to reorient the solar panels on the Sun. Shortly after this maneuver, the spacecraft entered the zone of loss of communication. The project team is waiting to update the data after communication is restored when Peregrine comes back into view of the NASA ground station,” Astrobotic added.

After some time, Astrobotic received new data from the device. We have successfully re-established contact with Peregrine and can confirm that the improvised maneuver was successful in reorienting the probe’s solar array on the Sun. The lander started charging the battery. Astrobotic is continuing to investigate the cause of the anomaly, which it believes is a malfunction in the propulsion system,” Astrobotic said.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the engine failure resulted in critical casualties.
fuel The team is working to try to stabilize this loss, but given the situation, we are prioritizing maximizing the use of science instruments and data collection. We are currently evaluating what alternative profiles for the mission can be carried out at this time,” concluded the space incident at Astrobotic.

United Launch Alliance previously launched a Vulcan Centaur rocket carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander. The spacecraft is supposed to deliver NASA instruments, hardware wallets with DOGE and BTC, test rovers, memorial capsules, drawings, photographs and objects of cultural importance to the surface of Earth’s natural satellite.

NASA has contracted with Astrobotic to install five science instruments on Peregrine, which are designed to study the lunar surface environment before the arrival of astronauts as part of the Artemis mission.

Peregrine is scheduled to land on the lava plain on the visible side of the Moon on February 23. There he will have up to ten days to carry out all the planned operations. This module may become the first private vehicle in history to make a soft landing on the Moon.

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