American company had to abandon attempt to land on the moon due to fuel leak


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — A fuel leak forced a U.S. company Tuesday to refuse landing a spacecraft on the moon.

Soon after, Astrobotic Technology’s lander started running out of fuel. launch on monday, The spacecraft also faced problems in pointing its solar panels towards the Sun and generating solar energy.

“Given the propellant leak, unfortunately, there is no possibility of a soft landing on the Moon,” Astrobotic said in a statement.

After a circular, fuel-efficient flight to the Moon, Astrobotic was aiming for a lunar landing on February 23. It would have been the first American moon landing in more than 50 years and the first by a private company. The Houston company’s second lander is scheduled to be launched next month.

Only four countries have made successful landings on the Moon.

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The company said the new goal is to keep the lander active in space for as long as possible, so it can learn as much as possible for its next mission a year or two from now. Flight controllers managed to keep the spacecraft facing the Sun and its batteries fully charged, with another 40 hours of operation expected.

The Pittsburgh-based company did not elaborate on why the Peregrine lander’s propulsion system failed just hours after takeoff.

NASA paid Astrobotic $108 million for its experiments on the Moon on this mission, which was part of the agency’s commercial lunar program.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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