Science & Tech

A failed moon rocket is plummeting back to Earth. Here's what will happen to it

A failed moon rocket is plummeting back to Earth. Here's what will happen to it
Peregrine Moon Landing Abandoned After “Critical” Fuel Loss
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A rocket that was supposed to land on the Moon is currently plummeting back down to Earth after a failed mission.

The commercial Peregrine mission was set to be a milestone one that would see the first privately built US lander set foot on the moon.

Developed by Pittsburgh-based company Astrobotic, the “Peregrine” lander was sent into space on Monday 8 January and would have been the first US object to land on the moon since the 1970s.

It was due to undergo experiments that would give experts more information about composition and radiation in the lunar environment ahead of NASA’s planned moon landing missions in 2026.

But, unfortunately for all involved, the mission failed due to a critical fuel leak that derailed the mission.

In a series of updates posted on Astrobotic’s X/Twitter page, they explained that the failed rocket is now on a trajectory towards Earth, where it is believed the rocket will burn up upon entry into the atmosphere.

On 15 January, they confirmed: “The team continues to work with NASA and U.S. Government agencies to assess the final trajectory path in which the vehicle is expected to burn up. Peregrine is now about 218,000 miles away from Earth.”

It is thought the rocket’s destruction will pose no safety risks for those on the ground.

In another update, Astrobotic added: “We do not believe Peregrine’s re-entry poses safety risks, and the spacecraft will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. We are validating this through analyses in collaboration with the U.S. Government”.

The update also explained that the mission will officially come to an end on 18 January.

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