A Japanese business seeking to make history by performing the first private lunar landing announced on Wednesday that it had lost contact with its spacecraft and believed the mission had failed.
A disappointing end to a mission that started with a launch from the US more than four months ago, Ispace said that it was unable to establish communication with the unmanned Hakuto-R lunar lander after its anticipated landing time.
About 25 minutes after the anticipated touchdown, a company representative told reporters, “We have not confirmed communication with the lander.” The official said, “We have to assume that we couldn’t complete the landing on the lunar surface.
A lunar rover from the United Arab Emirates was among the payloads being carried by the spacecraft, which was carrying payloads from many other nations. Officials said they will keep trying to make contact with the spacecraft.
Takeshi Hakamada, the founder and CEO of Ispace, stated after what seemed to be a disastrous landing that they had obtained data from the spacecraft up until the intended landing and will be checking that for clues as to what went wrong.
The 340-kilogram lander, which is slightly over two meters tall, has been in lunar orbit since last month. It was totally automated during its descent and landing, and it was planned to resume communication as soon as it landed.
Israeli organization SpaceIL witnessed their lander strike the moon’s surface in April 2019. In 2016, India made another effort to land a spacecraft on the moon, but it failed.
Later this year, two US businesses—Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines—plan to make lunar landing attempts.
In a tweet, Astrobotic said, “We congratulate the ispace inc team on ac-complishing a significant number of milestones on their way to today’s landing attempt.”—AFP