Astrobotic have given up on their Peregrine-1 spacecraft landing on the moon after it sprang a crippling propellant leak.
The problem occurred in the first few hours of the lunar lander’s journey into space.
The Pittsburgh-based firm – which had been hoping to be the first private company to complete a moon landing – said there was “no chance” of the spacecraft being able to survive the descent.
“Given the propellant leak, there is, unfortunately, no chance of a soft landing on the moon,” Astrobotic said in a statement.
However, the company said the lander has enough fuel left to allow it to operate “as a spacecraft” while engineers decide on its new mission in orbit.
US space agency NASA, which paid $108m to send scientific instruments up with the lander, had hoped the craft would scope out an area of the moon ahead of its own planned landing next year.
However, on Tuesday, following Astrobotic’s statement, NASA announced it had postponed landing astronauts on the moon until at least 2026.