Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander has touched down in Florida, gearing up for a December 24 blast-off aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur. This is no small step; it’s a giant leap closer to the moon. John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO, can barely contain his excitement: “It’s incredible to realize that we are just a short time away from our Peregrine spacecraft beginning its journey to the moon.”
Peregrine is no ordinary spacecraft; it’s a global effort with payloads from seven nations. It’s packed with 21 payloads from governments, companies, and universities, all hitching a ride to the moon. Sharad Bhaskaran, the mission director, assures us, “We’re ready for launch after successfully completing a battery of industry-standard acceptance testing.”
Once Peregrine waves goodbye to the Vulcan Centaur at Space Launch Complex 41, it’s showtime. Astrobotic’s Mission Control will take the reins, steering Peregrine to the moon’s surface for a smooth touchdown at the Gruithuisen Domes. And for about ten days, it’ll be busy with lunar surface operations.
Astrobotic’s Peregrine is on deck for a historic moonshot on December 24, 2023. It’s set to touch down in Sinus Viscositatis, a lunar spot ripe for science. Chosen by NASA for the CLPS gig in 2018, Astrobotic is now a key player in the lunar game. Peregrine’s got a clever design, ready to ferry a mix of payloads to the moon’s orbit and surface.
Echoing the trail blazed by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and Blue Origin’s New Shepard, Peregrine is part of the new wave of private space missions. It’s got the same pioneering spirit as the Lunar XPRIZE contenders, pushing the envelope in moon landing tech.
Peregrine is the first of its kind, a commercial craft aiming for a planetary landing beyond Earth. It’s hitching a ride on NASA’s Artemis program, which is all about getting boots back on the moon by 2024 and setting up shop for the long haul.
Peregrine’s packing 21 payloads from around the globe, proving space is everyone’s playground. Its landing site, the Gruithuisen Domes, is a lunar mystery zone begging for exploration.