US Moon mission has no chance of soft lunar landingon January 9, 2024 at 6:22 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

US company Astrobotic had hoped to land its Peregrine spacecraft on the Moon next month.

Artwork: PeregrineImage source, Astrobotic

A US lunar lander has “no chance” of making a soft landing on the Moon due to a fuel leak, the company behind the mission says.

Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic said there was enough propellant to operate its Peregrine lander as a spacecraft.

The lander is expected to run out of fuel in about 40 hours, the firm said shortly after 17:00 GMT on Tuesday.

Peregrine ran into trouble almost as soon as it came off the top of its launch rocket on Monday.

“Given the propellant leak, there is, unfortunately, no chance of a soft landing on the Moon,” Astrobotic said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“The team has updated its estimates, and we currently expect to run out of propellant in about 40 hours from now – an improvement on last night’s estimate.

“The team continues to work to find ways to extend Peregrine’s operational life.”

The 1.2-tonne lander was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Monday, with the intention of landing in late February.

But in the first few hours of its journey, engineers noticed the would-be Moon lander was struggling to keep its solar panels looking in the direction of the Sun to charge its battery.

The cause was quickly attributed to a major leak in the propulsion system that was pushing Peregrine out of alignment.

The US space agency (Nasa) had purchased capacity on the lander for five instruments to study the lunar surface environment ahead of sending astronauts there later this decade.

Astrobotic is the first of three US companies to send a lander to the Moon this year under a new private-public partnership with Nasa.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Michael Keane stunner cancels out Harry Kane penaltyon April 3, 2023 at 9:46 pm

Michael Keane scores a stunning long-range strike to salvage a Premier League draw for Everton against Tottenham in a game that saw both sides...

Why women vote for India PM Narendra Modi’s BJPon April 18, 2022 at 11:23 pm

India's PM is an alpha male who leads a patriarchal party - so what's the appeal?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be released ‘permanently’, says PMon March 7, 2021 at 5:34 pm

The British-Iranian's five-year sentence on spying charges has ended, but she faces a separate court case.Boris Johnson has called for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian...

Covid: Plans for fewer rules in Wales to be revealedon July 13, 2021 at 9:57 pm

It is not expected all rules will go, or that Wales will move as quickly as England.image copyrightGetty ImagesThe extent Wales will go to...

Giro d’Italia 2022: Key stages and riders to watchon May 6, 2022 at 6:43 am

Who will challenge and where will the race be won and lost? BBC Sport looks at everything you need to know about the Giro...