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NASA switches lunar landing site for Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander

Peregrine landing site

NASA today announced that it has changed the planned landing site on the Moon for Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, presently scheduled for launch at the end of March on the first flight of ULA’s new Vulcan rocket.

The original landing site for Astrobotic’s flight within Lacus Mortis, which is in the northeast quadrant of the lunar nearside of the Moon, was chosen by Astrobotic to suit its lander performance and safety, as well as Astrobotic’s preferences. However, as NASA’s Artemis activities mature, it became evident the agency could increase the scientific value of the NASA payloads if they were delivered to a different location. The science and technology payloads planned for this delivery to the Moon presented NASA scientists with a valuable opportunity, prompting the relocation of the landing site to a mare – an ancient hardened lava flow – outside of the Gruithuisen Domes, a geologic enigma along the mare/highlands boundary on the northeast border of Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, the largest dark spot on the Moon.

The white dot on the map to the right shows this location. The original location was to the west of Atlas Crater in the northeast quadrant of the Moon’s near side, where Ispace’s Hakuto-R lunar lander plans to touch down in April.

This decision by NASA was apparently prompted by the decision to send Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander to Vallis Schröteri in Oceanus Procellarum, which is the rill that flows west out of the crater Aristarchus. Gruithuisen Domes had been a potential landing site for Nova-C, and NASA probably did not want to lose an opportunity to go there.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

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  • In due season, Starship will be delivering international astronauts to conduct scientific exploration on a very large scale. Rovers could do the same exploration at lower cost and risk. But the astronauts will still want to explore on behalf of their own citizens and in their ian language. So we need to be careful that these CLPS landers and rovers leave the most exciting exploration for the humans to do.

  • Gary


    I realize we can’t use the helicopters on the Moon, but it should would be nice if we could figure out some sort of flying conveyance for planets with no atmosphere. That would speed up exploration and, with better coverage, get more done with fewer devices.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I liked the flying lunar bus the explorers used in “2001 A Space Odyssey”. It seemed to use a bank of rockets to maintain lift, but it took two crew, so it was more like an airplane than a bus. And it had an assortment of sandwiches.

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