An American company is unable to complete their mission to land on the moon due to a fuel leak.
Due to a serious fuel leak, a U.S. company was unable to successfully land their spacecraft on the moon on Tuesday.
The lander from Astrobotic Technology experienced fuel loss shortly after its launch on Monday. It also faced difficulties in maintaining its solar panel’s orientation towards the sun, resulting in a decrease in solar power generation.
Astrobotic released a statement stating that due to the propellant leak, the possibility of a gentle landing on the moon is no longer feasible.
Astrobotic was aiming for a lunar touchdown on Feb. 23, after taking a longer, more fuel-efficient route to the moon. This had the potential to be the first American moon landing in over half a century and the first ever by a private corporation. Another lander from a Houston-based company is set to launch in the coming month.
Only four nations have successfully achieved a moon landing.
The company announced their new objective to prolong the lander’s operation in space for the purpose of gaining maximum knowledge for its upcoming mission in approximately one year. The flight controllers successfully maintained the spacecraft’s orientation towards the sun and ensured its battery remained fully charged, with an estimated 40 more hours of operations.
The company from Pittsburgh did not provide further explanation for the failure of the propellant system on the Peregrine lander during its flight, which occurred only a few hours after launch.
Astrobotic was awarded a sum of $108 million by NASA to transport their experiments to the moon as part of the agency’s commercial lunar program.