Mexico’s first Colmena mission reaches lunar orbit and prepares for second broadcast

Mexico City, January 13 (EFE). Mexico and Latin America’s first mission to the Moon, Colmena, managed to cross the lunar orbit and, having completed 75% of its objectives, points to its second mission. in 2027, said Gustavo Medina, project manager at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Project Hive aims to enable five microrobots called “bees” to analyze the feasibility of installing structures on the lunar surface and study lunar dust as a resource for the production of oxygen and metals, and to learn how this happens. affects telecommunications.

Project Colmena was launched from a platform in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, aboard the Peregrine spacecraft, owned by Astrobotic and supported by the Mexican Space Agency (AEM).

Medina even emphasized that Mexico is positioned as one of the few countries in the world that has successfully managed to enter deep cislunar space using its own technologies at a distance of about 385,000 kilometers from Earth.

“Very few countries in the world have arrived, and Mexico is now part of that club. We can say that we have achieved enough achievements to move directly to Colmena II in 2027,” Medina said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Weighing less than 60 grams and measuring 12 centimeters in diameter, landing the bees on this first mission proved impossible due to a propulsion failure and fuel leak from the US Peregrine spacecraft, resulting in the loss of the remaining 25% of their final targets. .

“According to our estimates, our fuel reserves are running out sooner than in the (planned) 15 days; However, our engineers remain optimistic about extending Peregrine’s lifespan,” Astrobotic said in its latest update.

However, the Mexican Microrobot Hive maintains full communication with the UNAM Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Mexico and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.

“It was possible to obtain the necessary scientific and technical knowledge, train highly specialized human resources and establish connections with national and international companies and institutions,” UNAM reported to ICN, while announcing that the transfer of information had already begun.

A conference call is scheduled through official NASA channels next Thursday, January 18, to share the most important news about this first mission, with two more Hive missions already planned for 2027 and 2030.

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