The United States successfully launched a rocket named ‘Vulcan’ to explore the moon. This rocket, created by Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s United Launch Alliance, took off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It’s the first time in over 50 years that the U.S. is trying to land on the moon, the last attempt being the Apollo mission in 1972.
Astrobotic Technology, a private company in Pittsburgh, is leading this moon exploration with its lunar lander named ‘Peregrine,’ which is safely on the Vulcan rocket. This marks a special moment as it’s the first time a private U.S. company is taking charge of a moon mission.
The launch went well, and Eric Monda from ULA said everything was perfect. About 30 minutes into the mission, ULA shared updates on social media, confirming a stable flight as the spacecraft orbited Earth. The rocket’s engines were stable during this coast period. The spacecraft aimed for a specific point above the Indian Ocean for its second engine firing.
After this coast period, the rocket’s engines restarted to move from the initial orbit to a path that leads to the moon for the Peregrine lunar lander. Expected to land on February 23, the Peregrine mission’s goal is to gather important data about the moon’s surface, preparing for future human trips. If successful, this mission will be the first gentle landing by a U.S. spacecraft on the moon since the Apollo missions in 1972. This teamwork between big aerospace companies and private firms shows how much the private sector is contributing to space exploration.