MOSCOW, Jan. 19 (Sputnik) - US lunar lander Peregrine has ended its operation following post-launch problems and failing to make a soft landing on the lunar surface as planned, the Astrobotic Company announced on Friday.

On January 8, United Launch Alliance's Vulcan booster carrying Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander was launched on schedule from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

"As expected, Astrobotic lost telemetry with the Peregrine spacecraft at around 3:50 p.m. EST [20:50, GMT]. While this indicates the vehicle completed its controlled re-entry over open water in the South Pacific at 4:04 p.m. EST, we await independent confirmation from government entities," the company wrote on X.

The Peregrine lander was scheduled to touch down on the Moon on February 23 carrying NASA scientific equipment and other cargo, including people's DNA to be symbolically buried on the Moon.

Due to an emergency situation, the spacecraft's lunar landing was canceled and the company decided to end the mission with a controlled insertion of the probe into the Earth's atmosphere.

Peregrine was part of NASA efforts to return the United States to the Moon within the Artemis program. Astrobotic's contract with NASA for its development was estimated at $108 million. Apart from Peregrine, the company is building another, more capacious Griffin lander, also under a contract with NASA. It is expected to be launched to the Earth’s satellite at the end of this year.

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