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NASA, Others Gather Data Amid Peregrine Lunar Lander Not Reaching the Moon

Technology demonstration

NASA, Others Gather Data Amid Peregrine Lunar Lander Not Reaching the Moon

NASA and other organizations with payloads on Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander announced that they have still managed to gather useful information from the mission despite it not reaching the moon.

The Peregrine Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer, a NASA instrument, is among the payloads aboard the lunar lander. During the flight, it detected traces of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide that leaked from the lander’s oxidizer.

As the mission experienced setbacks, Astrobic confirmed that it is investigating to determine the root cause behind the propellant leak and other significant lessons from the mission that could be useful in producing the larger Griffin lander, SpaceNews reported.

In a recent town hall, Joel Kearns, deputy associate administrator for exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said the agency is closely following Astrobotic’s investigations to make changes for future Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover missions.

The Peregrine mission was launched on Jan. 8 using the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur heavy-lift spacecraft, which unexpectedly experienced a propellant leak hours after launch.

The U.S. space agency has been launching several technology demonstrations, including its Radio Frequency Mass Gauge. NASA recently assessed its capability to perform during long-duration missions.

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Category: Space

Tags: Astrobotic Barbara Cohen Dan Hendrickson NASA Peregrine space SpaceNews Stuart George