A Japanese organization called ispace was supposed to launch its Hakuto-R lunar lander on 30th November. But according to the recent report of ispace, the launch of the Hakuto-R lunar lander is postponed to 1st December. If this ispace’s mission is successful, the Hakuto-R lunar will be the first private spacecraft funded by a private organization to land on the lunar surface.
According to ispace, the lander would touch down in the Atlas Crater by April 2023 on the visible side of the moon. Hakuto-R was one of the five finalists of the international Google Lunar XPrize competition, which was a challenge to land a rover on the moon before a 2018 deadline.
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However, Hakuto-R is not the first spacecraft to enter the lunar surface. In 2019, the Israeli organization, SpaceIL attempted to enter the lunar surface but could not land successfully. SpaceIL experienced a fatal engine flaw and crashed into the lunar surface during the landing attempt.
Takeshi Hakamada, the CEO of ispace mentioned that they would like to position Ispace as an international bridge between the US and other countries. ispace now has contracts with NASA and the European Space Agency for upcoming missions to land on the moon and gather lunar water and dust samples.
ispace’s first mission, M-1, is to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The lander will be carrying a small rover for the United Arab Emirates’s Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Center, a miniature two-wheeler robot for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a camera, and a flight computer prototype for Canadian companies. If Ispace succeeds, it would be the first craft from Japan and United Arabs to visit the lunar surface.