The much-anticipated collaboration between BitMEX, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, and Astrobotic, a private tech company, has hit a snag. Their joint mission, which aimed to take Bitcoin literally ‘to the moon’, is now facing potential failure due to a fuel leak.
BitMEX had previously announced its partnership with Astrobotic to place Bitcoin on its lunar lander, Peregrine 1. The spacecraft launched from Florida on Monday, January 8, 2024. However, just hours after the launch, engineers monitoring the craft noticed an issue with the alignment of its solar panels.
This misalignment means that Peregrine 1 cannot draw enough power from the sun to charge its batteries. As a result, it is being forced to use more of its dwindling fuel supplies to stay on course. Once this fuel is used up, Peregrine 1 will start losing power and start “tumbling”.
The mission was important not only for BitMEX and Bitcoin but also for other non-cryptocurrency clients. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had purchased space for several experiments on the lander.
NASA, Bitcoin, and Sci-Fi Stars Are Among the Passengers Aboard the Peregrine 1
NASA maintains that its recent collaboration with the private sector for lunar exploration is expected to foster increased innovation and lead to cost reductions in the long run. The agency also acknowledges the possibility of some missions not achieving their objectives and is prepared for such outcomes.
Additionally, the mission was carrying the cremated human remains of astronaut Philip K. Chapman, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and several of the sci-fi show’s cast members.
BitMEX has been capitalizing on the publicity generated by the mission by hosting its trading competition. This allows traders to potentially win a baseball hat signed by Arthur Hayes, BitMEX’s co-founder, as well as 100,000 USDT to be divided among the top traders.
Despite the current challenges, the mission represents a significant step in the integration of cryptocurrency and space exploration. It highlights the vast potential of the Bitcoin ecosystem, pushing its boundaries beyond the limits of Earth.
As of now, the fate of the mission hangs in the balance. The world watches with bated breath, hoping for a positive outcome. Regardless of the result, this mission has undoubtedly marked a historic moment in the annals of both cryptocurrency and space exploration.