Peregrine lunar lander passes all the tests successfully

Astrobotic announced the successful completion of tests of the Peregrine lander. It was declared ready to fly to the Moon.

History of the Peregrine lander

The history of Peregrine goes back to the Google Lunar X Prize competition. At some point, Astrobotic withdrew from the competition, while continuing to develop the lunar lander project. In the future, the company managed to get two contracts under the CLPS program. Within its framework, NASA orders cargo delivery to the Moon from commercial companies.

The Peregrine spacecraft is in a vacuum chamber. Source: Astrobotic

The height of the Peregrine is 1.9 m, width — 2.5 m, weight (including fuel) — 1280 kg. It is equipped with five engines designed to perform maneuvers in interplanetary space and a soft landing on the lunar surface. The device has many ports designed to accommodate various scientific equipment. In total, Peregrine can carry a payload weighing up to 265 kg.

In preparation for the flight to the Moon, Peregrine underwent a series of tests. They included vibration and acoustic tests, as well as checks for electromagnetic compatibility of equipment. They were followed by a test in a vacuum chamber, which confirmed that the spacecraft would withstand the conditions of flight in interplanetary space. After its completion, Astrobotic announced that Peregrine was ready for the upcoming mission.

Peregrine’s First Lunar Mission

In the near future, Peregrine will be located at the company’s headquarters in Pittsburgh. After the company receives permission from the launch operator ULA, it will be transported to Cape Canaveral. The launch time of the lander will depend on the degree of readiness of the new Vulcan rocket (Peregrine will be its first cargo).

Peregrine on the Moon (concept). Source: Astrobotic

On January 21, Vulcan components were delivered to the Kennedy Space Center. In the near future, ULA plans to conduct a series of tests of the rocket, which will include its refueling and a countdown rehearsal.

After Vulcan completes the tests, Peregrine will be delivered to the spaceport and installed on the carrier. Its “company” will be a couple of prototypes of satellites of the Project Kuiper system from Amazon. They will remain in Earth orbit, while Peregrine will be put on a flight path to the Moon. 

The flight plan assumes that Peregrine will land in the area of Lacus Mortis — the lunar sea, located in the northeastern part of the visible side of the moon. 24 loads will be placed on board the spacecraft. About half of them are provided by NASA, and the rest are provided by various commercial customers. Among the most curious cargo of the mission are several micro-rovers, as well as a coin on which one bitcoin is “loaded”.

According to

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