NASA ends its Lunar Flashlight mission due to problems with its propellant

NASA ‘s cubesat sought to investigate the moon’s ice from orbit, but technical problems marked its end.


The Lunar Flashlight probe sent by NASA at the end of 2022 has officially ended its mission due to technical problems.

The cubesat, a smaller cubesat, intended to enter lunar orbit, but its propulsion system failed and prevented it from achieving it.

Goodbye, Lunar Flashlight

NASA disconnected from the Lunar Flashlight on May 12, five months after its launch .

Engineers spent several months trying to fix the problem, identified shortly after its December 2022 launch. They suspected debris of some kind was blocking the propellant lines.

Earlier this month, NASA said they were making a final effort to clear the clogs by increasing fuel pump pressures “well beyond” operating limits while opening and closing the valves. That technique, tested on one of the spacecraft’s four thrusters, had shown some success, “inconsistently producing some higher levels of thrust.”

Unfortunately for their interests, these efforts were not enough to keep the ship close to the Moon.