The United States did something big in exploring the moon. They launched a rocket called “Vulcan” from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This is the first time in more than 50 years that a U.S. spacecraft is trying to land on the moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.
A company from Pittsburgh called Astrobotic Technology is leading this mission. Their lunar lander, “Peregrine,” is on the Vulcan rocket. This is special because it’s the first time a private U.S. company is taking charge of a moon mission.
The launch went well, said ULA mission official Eric Monda. He said everything looked perfect from the launch control room.
Around 30 minutes into the mission, ULA gave updates on social media. They said the flight was stable as the spacecraft circled Earth. The systems that make the rocket move were working well. The spacecraft aimed for a specific spot above the Indian Ocean for its next engine firing.
After this, the rocket’s engines were turned on again. This helped the spacecraft move from its starting orbit to a path that goes toward the moon. This sets up the Peregrine lunar lander for its journey to the Moon.
The Peregrine mission plans to land on February 23. Its goal is to gather important information about the moon’s surface, helping future human trips. If everything goes well, it will be the first gentle landing by a U.S. spacecraft on the moon since the Apollo missions in 1972. The mission is a team effort between big aerospace companies and private companies, showing how the private sector is playing a bigger role in exploring space.