Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, a key part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and the Artemis program, has reached a major milestone by being encapsulated in the payload fairing of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket. The event took place at the Astrotech Space Operations Facility near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Scheduled for January 8, 2024, the launch, dubbed the Peregrine Mission One, will take off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The primary objective of the mission is to study various aspects of the Moon, including the lunar exosphere, thermal properties, hydrogen abundance of the lunar regolith, magnetic fields, and radiation environment of the lunar surface.
NASA has included several payloads aboard the Peregrine lander as part of its efforts to explore the Moon under the Artemis program. These payloads will contribute to scientific investigations and the testing of technologies for future missions to the Moon.
Leading up to the launch, a series of pre-launch events will be held starting from January 4. These events include a science media briefing and a lunar delivery readiness media teleconference, providing journalists and enthusiasts with inside information about the mission.
The launch and subsequent mission coverage will be available through various platforms, including NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Live streaming and blog updates will be featured on the NASA website, ensuring that the public can stay informed about the progress of the mission.
To enhance engagement, the public can register to virtually attend the launch and receive mission-specific information and updates. This opportunity allows individuals to be part of the exciting journey to the Moon.
The launch is an integral part of NASA’s CLPS program, which aims to send regular deliveries to the Moon to conduct science investigations, test technologies, and demonstrate capabilities before astronauts set foot on the lunar surface. Through these missions, NASA is paving the way for future exploration and expanding our understanding of Earth’s celestial neighbor.
While media accreditation for in-person coverage of the launch has closed, virtual coverage is still available. Media inquiries can be directed to ULA’s communications department for launch provider-related questions and Astrobotic’s communications department for CLPS provider-related inquiries.
For anyone looking to stay connected and join the conversation, the hashtag #Artemis can be used on social media platforms, along with tagging NASA, NASAKennedy, NASAArtemis, and NASAMoon.
To learn more about NASA’s CLPS initiative and the upcoming mission, additional information can be found on the NASA website. As we inch closer to the launch date, excitement continues to build for this important milestone in space exploration.
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