Private American Moon Mission Launching Monday

NASA has been at the forefront of exploring the Moon since the days of the Apollo missions — but, curiously, hasn't sent a lander back to its surface since Apollo 17 in 1972.

But come Monday afternoon, if all goes well, the space agency will be headed back.

This time, though, it'll be piggybacking on a commercial mission, according to The Guardian, a sign of the ever-growing links between NASA and the private space sector.

Peregrine's lunar ETA is February 23, and if successful will be the "first commercial robotic launch to the Moon’s surface," according to NASA

Another private space business, United Launch Alliance, built the Vulcan rocket launching the lunar lander into space.