The new American Vulcan Centaur rocket successfully performed its first launch. It sent the Peregrine robotic probe of the private company Astrobotic to the moon. This launch also proves that the United States can handle space exploration without Russian engines.
Successful launch of Peregrine
On January 8, 2024, a new American Vulcan Centaur rocket was launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome. This launch is important in itself as proof of the ability of the United States to be a leader in space exploration. However, even more important is the launch of the private Peregrine research mission to the moon.
The private Peregrine probe was developed by Astrobotic. This is a fairly large device, the weight of which is 1280 kg. It is expected to land on the moon on February 23 this year. Both scientific instruments and private cargo, such as the remains of deceased people, are on board.
The mission is given great importance not only because, during it, the first private American spacecraft is supposed to land on the moon. It is also part of the CLPS program. In fact, we are talking about an auxiliary program of private flights to the Moon, which should facilitate the landing of people there as part of the Artemis project.
What is the importance of the Vulcan Centaur rocket?
At the same time, the Vulcan Centaur rocket is important in and of itself. It is a heavy-class carrier that can be used not only for flights to the Moon, but also for launching various cargoes into Earth orbit.
Vulcan Centaur was developed as a replacement for the Atlas V rocket, which was discontinued. Along with it, cooperation between the United States and Russia in the field of manufacturing space technology actually stopped. In particular, the United States abandoned the use of the RD-180 engine.
In this regard, the Russians once again began to say that without them, the United States could not explore space on its own, and therefore it was necessary to make concessions to them. The launch of Vulcan Centaur was supposed to refute all these statements, and it was expected all last year. And today it finally flew.
According to https://twitter.com/ulalaunch
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