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Astrobotic: Propulsion System Issue Endangers Peregrine Lunar Landing

Lunar lander issue

Astrobotic: Propulsion System Issue Endangers Peregrine Lunar Landing

Astrobotic announced that its Peregrine lunar lander experienced an anomaly with its propulsion system hours after launch on Monday.

The company said the Peregrine spacecraft was operating as expected shortly after the United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur’s upper stage deployed and was communicating with NASA’s Deep Space Network. However, an anomaly occurred when Peregrine attempted to activate its propulsion system, preventing operators from pointing Peregrine toward the sun.

Astrobotic said it is responding in real-time to resolve the issue. In a series of updates, the company said it was able to point the Peregrine toward the sun using alternative methods, allowing the lander to charge its batteries.

The company also said the anomaly reduces the possibility of the Peregrine landing on the moon, SpaceNews reported.

According to NASA, the Peregrine mission is meant to carry scientific payloads to the moon to help researchers study the lunar exosphere, the moon’s thermal properties and other elements. The lander uses five TALOS-150 thrusters for its propulsion system.

Alongside Peregrine anomaly management, Astrobotic is also working with NASA in developing power generation platforms for lunar systems under a $34.6 million NASA Tipping Point partnership. The anticipated power generator, based on an Astrobiotic 6U CubeRover, could be deployed as early as 2026.

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Category: Space

Tags: Astrobotic Deep Space Network NASA Peregrine lunar lander propulsion system anomaly space SpaceNews United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur