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ispace’s HAKUTO-R mission takes off to the moon

Hakuto-R, the first commercial spacecraft to land on the moon aboard a SpaceX rocket

by The Business Pinnacle
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ispace, a global lunar exploration company, announced that it has launched its private lander to the Moon after several delays aboard a SpaceX rocket. SpaceX launched ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1 and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Lunar Flashlight to a lunar transfer orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This was the fifth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which earlier launched SES-22 and three Starlink projects.

The Series 1 Lander utilized for “HAKUTO-R” Mission 1 was successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 2:38 a.m., Saturday, December 11, 2022 (U.S. Eastern Time), and incorporated into its scheduled orbit.

After the split, ispace’s Mission Control Centre successfully formed the following details:

  • Stable communications with the spacecraft.
  • Stable attitude of the lander.
  • Stable power supply in orbit.
  • Evidence that there were no deficiencies in the lander’s core systems.
  • Confirmed the completion of initial critical operational circumstances.

Following a final check-out of customer payloads, Success 3 of the mission milestones will be accomplished. ispace will share revises on HAKspaceMission 1 as they become available.

The Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, Japan’s first-ever lunar lander to launch, will take a circuitous path to the moon and is anticipated to touch down inside the Atlas crater around the end of April. It carries two rovers which include one from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Rashid rover, its first rover from the UAE.

ispace’s lander is part of a $73 million NASA contract secured by a team led by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Draper to offer all-inclusive delivery services under the US Artemis moon program. The same rocket also launched NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Lunar Flashlight on a mission to explore ice in craters on the moon. NASA’s flashlight aims to search for water deposits in permanently shadowed regions near the Moon’s South poles ice stage lander will be delivered to the moon’s orbit by the rocket. The Lander is aiming for Atlas crater in the Northeast section of the moon’s near side. This mission, if successful, will be a huge milestone for private companies to achieve in a highly competitive sector.

Only National agencies of the United States, Russia, and China have achieved soft Landings on the Earth’s nearest neighbour. The M1 Lander will deploy two robotic Rovers along with a four-wheeled Explorer made by the United Arab Emirates. ispace’s Hakuto-R mission took nearly five months to deliver the Lander and other experiments to the Moon. The name Hakuto comes from a ‘white rabbit’ that lives on the Moon in Japanese folklore.

According to Emirates Lunar Mission Manager, UAE’s Rashid Lunar Rover will remain on the Moon even after the requisite data has been collected with an already assigned satellite around Mars. UAE aims to explore the Earth’s natural satellites too. The rockets will take a slow energy path to the Moon, flying for about a million miles from Earth before it loops back and intersects with the Moon by the end of April.

Tokyo-based ispace signed a contract with NASA to ferry payloads to the Moon beginning in 2025 and is aiming to build a permanently staffed Lunar colony by the year 2040.

About ispace, inc.

ispace, a global lunar resource development company, specializes in designing and building lunar landers and rovers. ispace plans to extend the sphere of human life into space and create a sustainable world by delivering high-frequency, cost-effective transportation services to the Moon.

The company has offices in Japan, the United States, and Luxembourg, with over 200 employees globally. ispace technologies U.S., inc. is part of a team led by Draper, which was awarded a NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program contract to land on the far side of the Moon as of December 2022. Together, ispace and ispace EUROPE S.A. (ispace EU) were awarded contracts to gather and transfer ownership of lunar regolith to NASA, and ispace EU was chosen by ESA to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program that seeks to obtain water on the Moon.

Founded in 2010, ispace operated “HAKUTO” which was one of five finalist teams in the Google Lunar XPRIZE race. As part of the first mission of its HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program is at present scheduled for as early as December 2022 and is anticipated to launch from the United States on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to encourage new customers as an opportunity to conduct business on the Moon.

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