Peregrine 1 [Astrobotic Technology]
Peregrine is a lunar lander privately developed by Astrobotic Technology for the Google Lunar-X-Prize.
The Peregrine Lunar Lander will fly 35 kilograms of customer payloads on its first mission, with the option to upgrade to 265 kilograms on future missions. Already 11 deals from six nations have been signed for this 2019 mission. The first mission in 2019 will serve as a key demonstration of service for NASA, international space agencies, and companies looking to carry out missions to the Moon.
Peregrine is powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion system featuring next generation space engine technology. Peregrine has four tanks surrounding a cluster of five Aerojet Rocketdyne ISE-100 engines based on the Divert and Attitude Control System thrusters it developed for missile defense applications. Clusters of ISE-5 attitude control thrusters orient the craft. The main engines are concentric with the spacecraft central axis and perform translunar injection, trajectory correction maneuvers, lunar orbit insertion, de-orbit, brake, and decent.
In July 2017 Astrobotic Technology announced, that they have selected ULA to launch the Peregrine mission in 2019 on a shared Atlas-5 rocket, which is too late for the Google Lunar X Prize, but which will serve as a pathfinder for future commercialization.
In May 2019, Astrobotic's Peregrine was selected by NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver up to 14 payloads to Lacus Mortis by July 2021 to support the Artemis lunar program. The Peregrine lander might be launched either on a shared or dedicated launch vehicle. In August 2019 it was announced, that Perregrine 1 will fly on the maiden Vulcan Centaur-5 (522) rocket, likely on a shared launch.
Following NASA payloads have been selected for the mission:
- Surface Exosphere Alterations by Landers (SEAL): SEAL will investigate the chemical response of lunar regolith to the thermal, physical and chemical disturbances generated during a landing, and evaluate contaminants injected into the regolith by the landing itself. It will give scientists insight into the how a spacecraft landing might affect the composition of samples collected nearby. It is being developed at NASA Goddard.
- Photovoltaic Investigation on Lunar Surface (PILS): PILS is a technology demonstration that is based on an International Space Station test platform for validating solar cells that convert light to electricity. It will demonstrate advanced photovoltaic high-voltage use for lunar surface solar arrays useful for longer mission durations. It is being developed at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
- Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer (LETS): The LETS radiation sensor will collect information about the lunar radiation environment and relies on flight-proven hardware that flew in space on the Orion spacecraft’s inaugural uncrewed flight in 2014. It is being developed at NASA Johnson.
- Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS): NIRVSS will measure surface and subsurface hydration, carbon dioxide and methane – all resources that could potentially be mined from the Moon — while also mapping surface temperature and changes at the landing site. It is being developed at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.
- Mass Spectrometer Observing Lunar Operations (MSolo): MSolo will identify low-molecular weight volatiles. It can be installed to either measure the lunar exosphere or the spacecraft outgassing and contamination. Data gathered from MSolo will help determine the composition and concentration of potentially accessible resources. It is being developed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- PROSPECT Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS) for Lunar Surface Volatiles: PITMS will characterize the lunar exosphere after descent and landing and throughout the lunar day to understand the release and movement of volatiles. It was previously developed for ESA’s Rosetta mission and is being modified for this mission by NASA Goddard and ESA.
- Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS): NSS will search for indications of water-ice near the lunar surface by measuring how much hydrogen-bearing materials are at the landing site as well as determine the overall bulk composition of the regolith there. NSS is being developed at NASA Ames.
- Neutron Measurements at the Lunar Surface (NMLS): NMLS will use a neutron spectrometer to determine the amount of neutron radiation at the Moon’s surface, and also observe and detect the presence of water or other rare elements. The data will help inform scientists’ understanding of the radiation environment on the Moon. It’s based on an instrument that currently operates on the space station and is being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
- Fluxgate Magnetometer (MAG): MAG will characterize certain magnetic fields to improve understanding of energy and particle pathways at the lunar surface. NASA Goddard is the lead development center for the MAG payload.