Astrobotic Announces Peregrine Reentry Plans Written 18 January 2024


Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander. | Credit: Isaac Watson; NASA

Aviation Week reports Astrobotic Technology said that it is “projecting its troubled Peregrine lunar lander will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere over the South Pacific Ocean around 4 p.m. EST on Jan. 18, two days earlier than previous estimates.” Space News reports Astrobotic “said it had to perform a two-step process to put the spacecraft on that reentry trajectory. One involved a series of 23 short burns by the spacecraft’s main engines. Astrobotic first tested those main engines Jan. 13, confirming they worked. However, the company said at the time that, because of the oxidizer leak, the fuel-to-oxidizer ratio ‘is well outside of the normal operating range of the main engines making long controlled burns impossible.’” The company “said it also oriented the spacecraft so that the force from the leaking propellant would push the spacecraft towards the desired reentry zone over the South Pacific, ensuring that any debris that survives reentry will fall outside of populated regions.”
Full Story (Aviation Week); More Info (Space News)