Image credit: ispace

 

The ispace Hakuto-R Mission 1 lunar lander is now on a trajectory to the Moon with a scheduled landing for the end of April – the first privately-led Japanese mission to attempt to land on the lunar landscape.

This Moon-bound probe was launched in December of last year via a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and has now become “the farthest commercial operating spacecraft to travel into deep space, according to the organization.

In a statement released today, the ispace flight team is expecting to complete all deep space orbital maneuvers before lunar orbit insertion around mid-March.

Transformable lunar robot (left: before transformation, right: after transformation)
Image credit: JAXA/TOMY Company/Sony/Doshisha University

 

Toted by the M1 lander is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) transforming robot ball, as well as a Rashid lunar rover from the United Arab Emirates.

UAE’s Rashid rover.
Image credit: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)

 

 

 

Follow-on missions

The company has offices in Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States and is also working on Mission 2 and Mission 3 of their lunar exploration program.

Mission 2, a lander/rover, is planned for 2024 and Mission 3 is targeted for 2025.

ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support new customers as a gateway to conduct commerce on the Moon. Part of the ispace business model is to provide reliable lunar transportation and data services, based on lessons learned from Mission 1.

 

 

 

For an up-close look at the ispace series 1 lunar lander, go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q49UdKvoj8I

Also, go to this ispace 2040 “vision movie” at:

https://youtu.be/r7CW92i0z_o

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