US moonshot fails, lunar lander burns up in Earth’s atmosphere

Following a failed moonshot, a lunar lander built by a US corporation will shortly burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Astrobotic Technology stated that their lander is now returning to Earth from the neighborhood of the moon. Officials at the company expect the mission to end on Thursday. Astrobotic is collaborating with NASA to track the lander’s route and says it should pose no safety danger during its violent descent.

The Peregrine lander launched from Cape Canaveral last Monday. It rapidly suffered a fuel leak, forcing Astrobotic to abandon its quest to make the first American lunar landing in over 50 years. The business believes a blocked valve caused the tank to rupture.

US moonshot fails, lunar lander burns up in Earth's atmosphere

Astrobotic stated that the company has conferred with NASA and other government officials on how to best conclude the mission. The corporation stated that it did not want to jeopardize satellites orbiting Earth or pose a risk to future spacecraft heading to the moon.

It was a “difficult decision,” the business stated in an online statement late Sunday. “By responsibly ending Peregrine’s mission, we are doing our part to preserve the future” when it comes to space exploration.

US moonshot fails, lunar lander burns up in Earth's atmosphere

NASA spent more than $100 million to fly tests on the Peregrine lander. It is part of the space agency’s efforts to commercialize lunar supplies by private companies while the government prepares to return astronauts to the moon.

The lander also carried a rover from Carnegie Mellon University and other privately funded research, as well as the remains and DNA of over 70 people, including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke.

Intuitive Machines, another US business, will launch its own lunar lander next month.

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