given the Peregrine fuel leak, there is unfortunately no chance of a soft landing on the Moon

given the Peregrine fuel leak, there is unfortunately no chance of a soft landing on the Moon

A fuel leak on the Peregrine lunar module leaves no chance of a soft landing on the lunar surface, reported Astrorobotic spacecraft developer company

“The Peregrine spacecraft has been in flight for about 32 hours. During the night, the team encountered another problem with the spacecraft’s guidance system, but continues to insist on trying to solve it. Peregrine’s solar panels began to deviate from the Sun, which reduced the energy production to charge the batteries. The project team was able to update the control algorithm and fix this problem. The batteries turned out to be fully charged.

Given the fuel leak, there is, unfortunately, no chance of a soft landing on the Moon. However, we still have enough fuel to continue operating Peregrine as a spacecraft. The team calculated the fuel losses and according to new estimates, it is expected to last about 40 hours. Specialists at the Astrorobotic CSP continue to work on finding ways to extend Peregrine’s capabilities to this clock and are conducting payload tests on the module, with a priority on maximizing the use of science instruments and data collection while they have the energy they need to operate,” Astrobo said.

On January 8, 2024, United Launch Alliance 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’s landing on the lava plain on the visible side of the Moon was scheduled for February 23. It was assumed that this module could become the first private device in history to make a soft landing on the Moon.

A few hours after launch, Peregrine experienced a propulsion anomaly that prevented the vehicle from performing a maneuver to achieve a stable orientation to the Sun. The project team designed and executed an improvised maneuver to reorient the solar panels on the Sun. This maneuver was crowned with success, the landing module began to charge the batteries. Unfortunately, the failure of the propulsion system led to critical fuel losses. Judging by the photo from the on-board camera, the device detected damage to the multi-layer insulation, which is an extraordinary situation that happened for reasons that are still unclear to Astrobotic.

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