On January 8, a private company Astrobotic Technology launched the Vulcan Centaur rocket. As part of the collaboration with the BitMEX exchange, there is a hardware wallet in the form of a physical Bitcoin coin with 1 BTC on its balance. A souvenir coin with the Dogecoin logo is also on the board.
The landing was planned for February 23, 2024. It could be the first time a private vehicle has landed on the Moon. However, a few hours after the launch, some difficulties with the ship appeared, and the original goal of this mission could probably not be fulfilled.
Why Astrobotic Technology launches Vulcan rocket
Astrobotic Technology is a private American company founded in 2007. It develops space robotics technology. Since its inception, the team's goal has been to become the first commercial company to land on the Moon.
Their first lunar lander mission called Mission One was announced back in 2017, but was repeatedly postponed due to technical difficulties. Finally, the launch within Mission One took place on January 8, 2024.
The last launch was made possible by Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), NASA's lunar cargo delivery programme. Technically, it looks like this: on board the Vulcan Centaur carrier rocket developed by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) is the Peregrine landing module created by Astrobotic Technology.
In addition to delivering scientific cargo that will aid in lunar exploration, Astrobotic Technology, in partnership with shipping company DHL, has launched MoonBox, a service that allows people to send small items in space like wedding rings, photos, or SD cards. Prices for such a service start at 430 euros.
Bitcoin and Dogecoin going to the Moon on a Vulcan rocket
Moreover, BitMEX has also revealed the public address of the sent wallet: 1MoonBTCixFH3XTrWRCbMpK23o74nQrA1Q. This allows everyone to join the event by sending some satoshi on this address.
The Dogecoin Foundation participated in this flight to the moon as well. They sent a small letter and a souvenir DOGE coin.
Now the market is focused on the SEC's decisions on spot Bitcoin ETFs, and that's why BTC and DOGE prices did not react much to the news. Maybe it is only for the best as there are certain difficulties with the flight.
Vulcan rocket will not reach the moon due to engine problems
According to the original plan, the Moon landing was supposed to happen on February 23.
A few hours after the launch, the Astrobotic Technology team reported that the rocket has problems with the solar panels. Due to insufficient energy received from the Sun, the craft is forced to spend more fuel than planned.
In its second-to-last update, Astrobotic Technology stated that "there is, unfortunately, no chance of a soft landing on the Moon".
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