According to the company, there was a malfunction shortly after the start of a US mission with the aim of the first successful commercial landing on the moon. Initially, the launch went as planned and the systems worked as expected, the Pittsburgh company Astrobotic announced on Monday. "Unfortunately, there was a disruption that prevented Astrobotic from assuming a stable position facing the sun."
According to initial investigations, this was probably due to a fault in the drive, it was said shortly afterwards. If this is confirmed, the planned soft landing on the moon would also be at risk. In addition, the battery charge has now reached a low level. The team is responding to the situation and will provide further information as soon as it becomes available, it said.
The lander "Peregrine" was launched from the Cape Canaveral spaceport on Monday morning aboard a "Vulcan Centaur" rocket from the manufacturer ULA. The capsule was supposed to land on Earth's satellite in late February in an area called Sinus Viscositatis (Bay of Stickiness), completing the first - unmanned - US moon landing since the Apollo mission more than 50 years ago.
In April 2023, a Japanese company failed in a similar mission, the company Ispace citing an incorrect altitude calculation of the lander during the landing attempt.
With the "Peregrine Mission 1" private individuals were able to buy space to transport material to the moon in the lander, which is 1.9 meters high and has a diameter of 2.5 meters. The US space agency Nasa also wants to prepare its own expeditions to Earth's companions with several devices on the journey. NASA would like to examine, among other things, the lunar exosphere during the mission. In addition, thermal properties and the hydrogen content of the material on the lunar surface (regolith) will be investigated.