Peregrine lunar lander team give update after craft crashes back to Earth

By Michel Marizco
Published: Friday, January 19, 2024 - 1:56pm

Spacecraft being set up
United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Moon lander was supposed to carry human remains to the lunar surface as part of an agreement with other private companies. The plan to deposit those remains and DNA from about 70 people on the moon faced strong opposition from Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren.

Astrobotic CEO John Thornton explains what scientists believe happened to the craft. 

"Certainly not the outcome we were hoping for and certainly challenging right up front, but man, got really exciting through the course of it, and there’s a lot of story to tell here," he said.

He says a review is underway but that a tank ruptured after a valve didn’t reseat. 

Thornton said he was optimistic about all the parts of the mission that did work and added he anticipates launching again late in 2024. 

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