carrying American lunar lander arrives at launch Pad

6 January 2024
2024-01-06 11:12

Final preparations were underway on Friday for the launch of the first American spacecraft to attempt a lunar landing in more than 50 years, under a new partnership between NASA and private industry.

United Launch Alliance' Vulcan Centaur rocket rolled out in the morning to its launchpad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, preparing for its maiden flight to blast off on Monday at 2:18 am local time.  Fixed to its top is the Peregrine Lunar Lander, built by Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic, which should touch down at a mid-latitude region of the Moon in mid-February.

If the mission is successful, it would mark the first time an American robot "soft" lands on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, and the first under NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. 

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