NASA will make ‘terrifying and thrilling’ return to the Moon | Science | News

is gearing up for an exciting return to the Moon, marking over 50 years since the last Apollo mission. The has set the stage for this cosmic endeavour, scheduling the launch of the Peregrine lander this month.

Developed by the American company Astrobotic, Peregrine is anticipated to carry NASA instruments designed to study the lunar environment extensively.

The mission aligns with NASA’s ambitious plans for future manned missions, notably the upcoming Artemis mission, signalling a new era of .


Expected to be the first private spacecraft to touch down on the Moon, Peregrine plays a pivotal role in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

Astrobotic CEO John Thornton said in a previous interview: “One of the big challenges of what we’re attempting here is attempting a launch and landing on the surface of the Moon for a fraction of what it would otherwise cost.” 

He acknowledged the historical difficulty of lunar landings, with only about half of the missions achieving success, making the mission both thrilling and daunting.

The scheduled takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, is set for December 24, with the autonomous descent planned for January or February.

Peregrine’s landing, which will not be controlled by humans, is slated for January 25, ensuring optimal conditions at the target location.

Astrobotic is not the sole collaborator in NASA’s lunar exploration endeavors. Other key players include Firefly Aerospace, Draper, and Intuitive Machines.


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