China News Service Houston, January 1 According to the US private company Aerospace Robotics on the 14th local time, its "Peregrine Falcon" lunar lander is returning to Earth. The company previously said that the Peregrine Falcon was unable to make a soft landing on the moon due to a propellant leak.

The company said on the social platform X on the 13th that the company's mission control center has been tracking the trajectory of the "peregrine falcon". The lunar lander has been in space for 5 days and 8 hours and is currently nearly 39,<> kilometers away from Earth. The company's latest assessment shows that the Peregrine Falcon is flying to Earth and is likely to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. At present, the rate of propellant leakage has slowed down considerably, and dealing with the problem is no longer a priority for staff.

NBC reported that at 8:2 EST on the 18th, the "Peregrine Falcon" was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida aboard the United Launch Alliance's "Vulcan Centaur" rocket. But crews then discovered that the Peregrine Falcon's propulsion system was malfunctioning, preventing it from stably facing the sun to charge the panels.

Aerospace Robotics said in a statement on the 9th that considering the propellant leakage problem, the "Peregrine Falcon" has no chance to make a soft landing on the moon. The propellant will run out after about 40 hours, and the company plans to keep the Peregrine Falcon running for as long as possible to collect more data for the next mission.

The Peregrine Falcon was originally scheduled to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on February 2. This is the first U.S. mission to the moon undertaken by a private company, and NASA has signed a $23 million contract with Aerospace Robotics to carry its experimental project on the Peregrine Falcon. The lunar lander carried five NASA instruments on its first flight. (ENDS)