Peregrine Lander

News Excerpt:

The Peregrine One mission which aims to locate water molecules on the Moon has now developed a critical fuel leak.

About the program: 

  • Astrobotic is the first of three US companies to send a lander to the Moon this year under a new private-public partnership with NASA.
  • It will be the first American spacecraft to attempt to land on the moon in more than half a century.
  • Peregrine will touch down on a mid-latitude region of the Moon called Sinus Viscositatis, or Bay of Stickiness. It lies adjacent to the Gruitheisen Domes near the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms.
  • Astrobotic is one of 14 vendors eligible to carry NASA payloads to the moon through the CLPS initiative

Importance of the Program: 

  • The scientific objectives of the mission are to study the lunar exosphere, thermal properties, and hydrogen abundance of the lunar regolith, magnetic fields, and the radiation environment.
  • It will improve our understanding of how solar radiation interacts with the lunar surface. 
  • The payloads used in this program will also provide data to NASA’s Lunar-VISE (Lunar Vulkan Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer) instrument suite, slated to land on the Gruithuisen Domes in 2026.
  • This program will help NASA in studying and sampling the lunar environment and in further holistically understanding the solar system.

The five NASA payloads aboard Peregrine One lander will include the following:

  • LETS (Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer): It is derived from Orion's 2014 flight and will serve as a lunar radiation monitor. Having demonstrated its utility on Artemis-I and the International Space Station, it will assess the lunar radiation environment.
  • NIRVSS (Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System): It will examine the lunar soil's composition, surface temperature, and fine-scale structure. Equipped with an imager, spectrometer, and thermal sensor, it will identify minerals and volatiles, providing insights into lunar surface characteristics. 
  • NSS (Neutron Spectrometer System): It will indirectly detect potential water in lunar soil through exhaust deposition by the lander’s engines. Post-landing, it will assess lunar soil changes throughout a lunar day.
  • PITMS (Peregrine Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer): A collaboration between NASA, The Open University (England), and the European Space Agency, it aims to analyze lunar atmosphere composition post-landing and during the lunar day, exploring the release and movement of volatiles.
  • LRA (Laser Retroreflector Array): It consists of eight retroreflectors and it will provide precise distance measurements between the spacecraft and the lander. It is a passive optical instrument and will function as a permanent location marker on the Moon for decades to come.

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