The U.S. company United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the rocket with the Peregrine module loaded with instruments to analyze the surface of the Moon. The liftoff occurred at 2:20 local time from Cape Canaveral.
Upon reaching the Moon, Peregrine will become the first U.S. module to land on the lunar surface in over 50 years. It carries scientific instruments from seven countries, including the "Colmena Project" with tiny robots for studying the lunar surface.
The robots have been developed by the Space Instrumentation Laboratory of the Institute of Nuclear Sciences (LINX-ICN). These are explorers about 12 centimeters in diameter and weighing less than 60 grams each. Each robot is equipped with wheels, sensors, and onboard computers that will enable lunar exploration and space mining.
El cohete Vulcan Centauro llevará la nave Peregrin a la superficie del satélite, en un viaje que durará entre cuatro y seis semanas, explicó Gustavo Medina, investigador del Instituto de Ciencias Nucleareshttps://t.co/TzNplSIJrh
The text reads, "The Vulcan Centauro rocket will take the Peregrin ship to the surface of Moon, on a trip that will last between four and six weeks, explained Gustavo Medina, researcher at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences."
Approximately 250 students participated in the Colmena project. The Mexican Space Agency (AEM) was involved in the validation and review of the development of the micro robots.
"The Colmena Project is the first of three space missions, which, combined with the two anticipated to follow before 2030, aim to develop a unique technological capability internationally. Mexico could use this as a tool to participate in future partnerships on the Moon and asteroids within NASA's Artemis project, whether for research, natural resource prospecting, mining activities, or the construction of structures and panels," said AEM.
The Colmena mission is expected to land on the Moon on February 23. Once this happens, the Mexican micro robots will be deployed on the lunar surface to conduct a study of lunar dust.