Astrobotic pushing ahead with Griffin Moon mission despite Peregrine 1 failur: CEO

Washington, Jan 20 (UNI) The Astrobotic Company is planning to go ahead with its scheduled Griffin unmanned mission to the Moon despite the disastrous failure of its Peregrine 1 mission carrying five payloads for NASA earlier this week, company CEO John Thornton told a media teleconference on Friday.

“Our plan is to proceed with Griffin for later this year,” Thornton said.

Thorton was speaking the day after his Pittsburgh-based company’s Peregrine spacecraft crashed back to Earth, burning up over the Southern Pacific Ocean east of Australia after suffering a catastrophic propellant loss during to a faulty helium control valve shortly after it was launched on January 8. Multiple NASA lunar rovers as well as other experiments were lost in the project.

The Griffin mission is scheduled for November 2024 and also built by Astrobotic.

Griffin is a medium-class lunar lander designed to carry other unmanned lunar rovers and payloads. Like Peregrine, it is meant to prepare the way for the repeatedly-delayed NASA Artemis III manned mission to the Moon now scheduled for September 2026.

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