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World’s first commercial lander to reach Moon faces anomaly hours after launch Peregrine Astrobotic NASA United Launch Alliance

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One, the world’s first commercial lander to the Moon, scheduled for launch on January 8, 2024, encountered an “anomaly” just hours after launch. However, Astrobotic has successfully reestablished communications with Peregrine, and conducted a correction maneuver to reorient Peregrine’s solar array toward the Sun, the US firm said in a mission update. Astrobotic is now charging the batteries, and ground control teams are evaluating the data received, and trying to understand the reason behind the anomaly.

The Peregrine lunar lander is also the first United States lunar lander to be launched in more than 50 years. Launched atop United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, the Peregrine lander successfully separated from the launch vehicle, and was receiving telemetry through NASA’s Deep Space Network.

All propulsion systems were successfully activated, after which Peregrine entered a safe operating state. However, after this, an anomaly occurred, preventing the lander from achieving stable sun-orientation. The Astrobotic team is attempting to obtain and analyze more data to understand the situation.

The mission, launched at 2:18 a.m. ET (12:48 p.m. IST) on January 8, was the inaugural launch of ULA’s next-generation Vulcan rocket. The rocket launched from Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

ULA claims that Vulcan’s upper stage, called Centaur V, is the highest performing rocket stage in the world. Centaur V is extremely flexible, and can ensure the most complex orbital insertions in the most challenging orbits. The Vulcan rocket’s engine has been designed by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

ULA calls this mission the first certification flight (Cert-1) mission, while Astrobotic calls it Peregrine Mission 1. The launch vehicle carried two payloads: Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, which is a part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (Initiative). , and the Celestis Memorial Spaceflight deep space Voyager mission, also known as the Celestis Enterprise flight.

Celestis Enterprise flight carries personalized flight capsules containing cremated remains, complete human genome DNA samples and the names and messages of many people from around the world.

NASA launches five payloads on Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander.

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