Launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Peregrine 1 Lunar Lander on Monday using a Vulcan Centaur rocket.
This historic moment in US space exploration might mark the country’s first lunar landing in half a century, since the Apollo mission in 1972. Additionally, it is the first private corporation lunar landing in history.
The Peregrine project represents a significant advancement in space exploration as well as a turning point in commercial spaceflight. As stated by the Times of India, it is scheduled to touch down on the moon on February 23.
The lander is equipped with scientific payloads that include real bitcoins and tiny robots from Mexico that are meant to gather important data about the lunar surface.
Unexpectedly, the lander is also carrying cremated bones and DNA from over 200 individuals, including what are purported to be the hair of previous US presidents John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Washington.
Furthermore, on board Peregrine, two businesses, Celestis and Elysium Space, are launching space memorial missions. This contains, according to Gizmodo, the ashes of Gene Roddenberry, the man behind Star Trek, and a number of his cast mates, including Nichelle Nichols. It also includes DNA from the renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.
The president of the biggest Indigenous tribe in America, the Narajevo Nation, expressed concern over the cremated ashes of people aboard the lander vehicle, referring to the mission as a “desecration” of the moon because it is sacred to them.
An important turning point in space exploration has been reached with the successful launch of the Vulcan Centaur, which blurs the lines between government-led and commercial space missions.