SpaceX is set to launch the first private and Japanese lunar lander on Wednesday.
The Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:39 AM (0839 GMT) with a backup date on Thursday.
So far, only the United States, Russia and China have successfully installed robots. lunar surface.
The mission by Japanese company ispace is the first of a program called Hakuto-R.
The lander is scheduled to land in Atlas Crater on the visible side of the Moon around April 2023, according to a company statement.
It measures just over 2 x 2.5 meters and carries a 10-kilogram rover named Rashid, manufactured by the United Arab Emirates. Oil-rich countries are space race But count recent successes, including Mars exploration in 2020. If successful, Rashid will be the first lunar mission in the Arab world.
“In the short span of six years since we started conceptualizing this project in 2016, we have accomplished a lot,” said Tsuyoshi Hakamada, CEO of ispace.
Hakuto was one of five finalists in the international Google Lunar XPrize competition. However, some projects are still in progress.
Another finalist from Israeli organization SpaceIL failed to become the first privately funded mission to accomplish the feat after it crashed to the surface in April 2019 while attempting to land.
With just 200 employees, ispace aims to “extend the reach of human life into space and create a sustainable world. high frequency, a low-cost shipping service to the Moon. ”
Future missions are set to contribute to NASA’s Artemis program. Artemis 1, an unmanned test flight to the moon, is currently underway.
The US space agency wants to develop a lunar economy in the next few years. space station It is in orbit around the Moon and has a base on its surface.
Several companies have been contracted to develop landers to bring scientific experiments to the surface.
Among them, American companies Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines could reportedly take off in 2023 and reach their destination before ispace by following a more direct route.
© 2022 AFP
Quote: Japanese company aims to put first private lander with UAE rover on moon (29 November 2022) https://phys.org/news/2022-11-japanese-company- 30 Nov 2022 from aims-private-lander.html
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