It failed to land a commercial spacecraft on the moon for the first time. The lander Hakuto-R, from the Japanese company ispace, had sent signals to Earth until just before landing, but after that no contact could be made.
iSpace boss Takeshi Hakamada said at a press conference that it can be assumed that the mission has failed.
The employees eagerly await the landing, until contact with the lunar lander has been broken:
The fact that moon landings do not always go well was already apparent in 2019, when a first landing attempt by a commercial Israeli probe failed after the main engine failed. A few months later, an Indian lander crashed on the surface.
Ispace eventually wants to extract raw materials and water on the moon to set up a manned moon base. With the lander, the company wanted to test the design and technology for it.
The Hakuto mission was the first in a series of planned commercial lunar landings. There are two more US flights scheduled in the coming months alone, Peregrine Mission 1 and Nova-C.
The commercial missions will conduct research into technologies aimed at using lunar resources. The US and Europe want to build a manned base near the south pole of the moon. China and Russia have similar plans. Commercial companies such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin have also set their sights on the moon.
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