American lunar lander that missed the Moon disappears into Earth’s atmosphere

(Washington) An American lander, which failed to reach the Moon due to a fuel leak in flight, was deliberately lost Thursday, probably disintegrating upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, announced the start-up having designed the device.

Astrobotic clarified on South”, and is awaiting confirmation from the authorities to seal the fate of the machine.

Peregrinethat’s its name, took off at the beginning of last week from Florida, but a fuel leak was quickly identified, preventing it from being able to land gently on the Moon as planned.

The lander, however, continued to operate in space, collecting useful flight data for a future attempt, and even allowing experiments to be carried out on board, sent in particular by NASA, such as measuring radiation.

But the company also had to evaluate how to end the mission taking into account the uncertainties linked to the leak, and without risking creating problems for the satellites in Earth orbit, or debris in lunar orbit.

The company announced this weekend that it had made “the difficult decision” to maintain a trajectory directing the lander towards Earth, even if it could perhaps have continued to operate for “weeks”.

“We do not believe that Peregrine’s reentry poses any security risks, and the vessel will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere,” Astrobotic wrote at the time. The company directed the device to “minimize the risk of debris falling to the ground.”

The lander is about the size of a small golf cart.

The company is planning a press conference on Friday to review the entire mission.

Astrobotic was to attempt the first landing of an American device on the Moon in more than 50 years, and the first by a private company.

A Japanese mini-spacecraft must try to land on the Moon during the night from Friday to Saturday Japanese time, which would be a great first for the country.

source site-61