After more than 5 decades, the American mission to land on the moon is about to fail.
This mission was launched on January 8 by a private company under the aegis of NASA.
Astrobiotic Technology’s Peregrine lander was launched to the moon by United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.
But shortly after launch, the mission suffered a major setback when the spacecraft started leaking fuel.
Now Astrobiotic says it will try to get the lander as close to the moon as possible before the spacecraft shuts down.
According to the company, the spacecraft’s propulsion system may have malfunctioned, causing the fuel to leak.
The company was supposed to try to land the lander on the moon on February 23, but due to a malfunction in the spacecraft, efforts are now being made to collect as much data as possible.
The mission carried 20 payloads of US government and private customers to the moon.
The spacecraft was successfully launched into space by a rocket from Florida.
But after separation from the rocket, when the propulsion system was activated, the fuel started leaking.
Astrobiotic directed the spacecraft’s solar panels toward the Sun to charge the lander’s batteries.
But due to fuel leakage, the mission can now travel only till January 11.
This mission is unlikely to reach the moon and thus the attempt to land the first US mission to the moon since 1972 is doomed to fail.
But Astrobiotic will send 5 more missions to the moon during 2024.
According to the company, $450 million has been raised so far from government and commercial contracts for the second mission.