The Peregrine probe, launched to the Moon on January 8, will not be able to land on it. After a successful launch, there was a problem with the propulsion system, as a result of which it spent too much fuel on orientation.
Problems with the Peregrine probe
The Peregrine probe will not be able to make a soft landing on the Moon. The company Astrobotic, which developed it, announced this on the official page on the social network X. This happened as a result of a number of events.
The launch, which took place on the morning of January 8, went properly. The new Vulcan Centaur rocket put it into orbit and thus proved that the United States can quite cope with space exploration without the Russians, who previously supplied them with engines. However, then the problems began.
Just a few hours after the launch, Astrobotic reported that the spacecraft could not properly turn to the Sun so that the solar panels would provide its systems with electric current. Finally, this problem was solved, but it was suspected that it was only a consequence of improper operation of the propulsion system.
In the afternoon, Astrobotic could get the first photos from the camera mounted on the Peregrine case. Layers of insulation were clearly visible and clearly dented. This directly indicated that something was wrong with the engines, and already in the late night, UTC time, the company admitted that there would be no landing.
Why won’t there be a landing?
The Peregrine spacecraft had to perform a number of maneuvers to successfully land on the moon on February 23, as planned. All of them required fuel consumption, and it was necessary to spend a lot of it on the landing. And there was a certain amount of it on the spacecraft.
However, due to an emergency situation, engineers forced the Peregrine power plant to work for several hours so that it would not fall and turn to the Sun with the right side. It took too much fuel. It only has 40 hours of continuous operation left, and that’s less than it needs to be.
Now engineers are doing everything to send the probe to the Moon, but it is already clear to everyone that there will not be enough fuel for a soft landing. It is still unknown how the mission will end, but it is unlikely to be successful. And this is not very good, considering that it is part of the CLPS program, which aims to support private companies for future manned flights to the Moon.
However, NASA has already stated that they do not see anything terrible in this failure. After all, no private spacecraft has landed gently on the moon and there was no reason to hope that everything would go as it planned. Astrobotic agreed with this, stating that this mission was a training one.
As a result, it is a pity only for the additional cargo on board the Peregrine. It was supposed to carry the remains of many outstanding people to the Moon, as well as a pennant with a flag and a map of Ukraine.
According to edition.cnn.com
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time