June 9, 2023

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Space The Hakuto-R lander of the Japanese startup Ispace has crashed on the moon – Corriere.it

Japan’s Ispace company’s Hakuto lander cut communications moments before landing on the moon’s surface, prompting the company to declare the mission a failure because the probe crashed to Earth. The startup’s attempt to become the first private company to bring a lander to the moon failed. This is what the company itself announced: “We don’t expect to complete the moon landing,” the CEO and founder explained Takeshi Hakamada. The company then determined that Hakuto-R Mission 1 and its payload would have been destroyed after a “hard landing” on the lunar surface.

Communications ceased when the probe descended the last 10 metres, traveling at approximately 25 km/h. Air traffic controllers checking screens in Tokyo showed no expression as the minutes passed without receiving any news from the probe. Hakamada promised to try again, confirming that a second rocket launch was planned for next year. Hakuto-R 1 did not reach its target and, possibly due to the too fast descent, crashed into the ground from the Earth’s satellite, but Ispace will certainly continue with new missions. Its engineers are already working out why the landing failed. “We believe that we fully understood the meaning of this task and gained a large amount of data and experience – Hakamada emphasizes – the important thing is to feed knowledge up to task 2.” The 2.3-meter Japanese rover carried the UAE’s tiny Rashid lunar rover and a Japanese toy robot designed to roll in lunar dust. There were also items of special agents on board.