SpaceX will send a Japanese lander and an Emirati rover to the Moon

SpaceX’s Falcon 9’s take-off was supposed to take place from Cape Canaveral a few days ago. After an initial adjournment on 30 November to allow final scrutiny, the result led to a new postponement for an indefinite period.

The Falcon 9 rocket with the Hakuto-R M1 on board. Originally, the probe was supposed to board as a secondary passenger on a geostationary satellite, but eventually finds itself on its own. This allows it to have an orbit that brings it closer to the moon’s south pole. © SpaceX

iSpace is a start-up that has survived the times. It was based on the work of a team that had responded for the XPrize challenge, whose goal was to send a rover to the Moon by 2018. No winner. Google withdraws from the challenge, which ends up disappearing, but iSpace continued to work on its lunar lander with its program Hakuto-R.

The Hakuto-R M1 probe when placed under the hood.  © SpaceX

The Hakuto-R M1 probe when placed under the hood. © SpaceX

The first private mission to the Moon in history

iSpace’s Hakuto-R program has two missions: a first in the coming days to test the lander’s ability to land on lunar soil, and a second in 2024 with an additional rover. Like any future program mission, Hakuto-R M1 carries private and public payloads.

Full-size scale models of the Hakuto-R and Rashid rover on display at IAC in September 2022. On the extended legs, the lander is 2.3 m high and 2.6 m wide for a mass of 340 kilograms.  The rover weighs 10 kilos.  © Daniel Chretien, Futura

Full-size scale models of the Hakuto-R and Rashid rover on display at IAC in September 2022. On the extended legs, the lander is 2.3 m high and 2.6 m wide for a mass of 340 kilograms. The rover weighs 10 kilos. © Daniel Chretien, Futura

After launch, Hakuto-R M1’s journey will last several months, during which the probe will gradually increase its altitude in Earth orbit until it injects itself into a translunar orbit. The probe will then remain in lunar orbit for two weeks before touching down in the Atlas Crater on the southeastern edge of the Frigoris Sea, a location that allows the probe to be illuminated by the Sun.

Hakuto-R mission 1 flight plan.  © iSpace

Hakuto-R mission 1 flight plan. © iSpace

ONE…

> Read more about Futura

Leave a Comment