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Astrobotic's lunar lander is still in space

Astrobotic's lunar lander is still in space

Four days after liftoff, and despite a fuel leak that led to the failure of the mission, the Astrobotic lander continues to operate in space. The company was scheduled to attempt the first landing of an American device on the moon in more than 50 years.

But it announced at the beginning of the week that its Peregrine lander would not be able to land on the moon as planned.

Despite everything, Astrobotic teams continue to search for “solutions to extend its lifespan,” the private company announced on Friday, which is now operating it as a ship in order to collect as much data as possible for the next attempt.

valve in question

According to the startup, the malfunction that occurred shortly after takeoff on Monday could have been caused by a faulty valve that caused the tank to “rupture.” The result: The fuel leak has affected the lander ever since.

Astrobotic did not give up and its efforts paid off: at the moment the machine was able to stay on course and move more than 350 thousand kilometers from the Earth.

The cargo on board, including NASA's scientific instruments, successfully transferred data. The US space agency said that two of them were conducting radiation measurements during the flight.

“Sending a ship to the moon is not easy,” Nikki Fox, NASA’s associate administrator in charge of science missions, wrote on the social media network X (formerly Twitter). “I applaud the hard work, perseverance and commitment of Astrobotic as they face the challenges of their mission.”

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It is unclear how the lander will end its adventure, although some speculate that it may crash into the lunar surface.