NASA Deploys Five Payloads to the Moon via Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lander

January 7, 2024

NASA is set to commence 2024 with the launch of five payloads to the Moon via Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander, known as Astrobotic Peregrine Mission One. The inaugural mission under NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative is scheduled to lift off on January 8 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, propelled by a United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket.

The mission aims to identify water molecules on the Moon, measure radiation and gases surrounding the lander, and assess the lunar exosphere – the thin layer of gases on the Moon’s surface. These measurements are critical for enhancing our understanding of the interaction between solar radiation and the lunar surface. Furthermore, the collected data will contribute to NASA’s Lunar-VISE (Lunar Vulkan Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer) instrument suite, expected to land on the Gruithuisen Domes in 2026.

Nicola Fox, the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, expressed enthusiasm about turning this vision into reality. She highlighted CLPS as an innovative approach, leveraging American companies to transport crucial science and technology payloads to the Moon. The Moon, being a rich source for scientific discovery, holds the potential to unravel some of the solar system's greatest mysteries, benefiting scientific understanding for all.