cape canaveral, florida – A Tokyo company aimed for the moon on Sunday in its own private lander, taking off on the United Arab Emirates’ first lunar rover and a SpaceX rocket carrying a toy-like robot from Japan.
It will take nearly five months for the lander and its experiments to reach the moon.
The company ispace designed the hull to use minimal fuel, save money and leave room for cargo. So from Earth she follows a slow, low-energy path to the Moon, a million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away, and will turn around and intersect with it by the end of April.
In contrast, NASA’s Orion crew capsule and test dummies Last month it took 5 days to reach the moon. The lunar flyby mission will conclude on Sunday with a landing in the Pacific Ocean.
The ispace lander will target the Atlas Crater, which is over 87 km (50 miles) in diameter and over 2 km (1 mile) deep, in the northeastern part of the Moon’s nearside. With four legs extended, the lander is over 7 feet tall.
With scientific satellites already orbiting Mars, the UAE also wants to explore the moon. The rover, named Rashid after Dubai’s royal family, weighs just 22 pounds (10 kilograms) and, like everything else on the mission, will operate on the ground for about 10 days.
Additionally, the lander is carrying an orange-sized sphere from the Japanese space agency that transforms into a wheeled robot on the moon. Also flying: an all-solid-state battery from a Japanese spark plug company. The company’s Flight in Ottawa, Ontario, company Flight His computer is equipped with artificial intelligence to identify geological features seen by the UAE rover. His 360 degree camera for a company in the Toronto area.
Aboard the rocket was a small NASA laser experiment, now heading alone to the Moon to search for ice in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s south pole.
The ispace mission is called Hakuto, Japanese for white rabbit. Asian folklore says that a white rabbit lives on the moon. His second moon landing by a private company is scheduled for his 2024, and his third in 2025.
Founded in 2010, ispace Google Lunar X Prize We should successfully land on the moon by 2018.
Another finalist, an Israeli nonprofit called SpaceIL, managed to reach the moon in 2019. The spacecraft Beresheet crashed into the moon and was destroyed.
With Sunday’s pre-dawn launch from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, ispace is now one of the first private companies to attempt a moon landing. Although the launch is early next year, the lunar lander built by Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic Technology and Houston’s Intuitive Machines may beat ispace to the moon thanks to its short cruise time.
Only Russia, the United States and China have achieved so-called “soft landings” on the moon, starting with the former Soviet Union’s Luna 9 in 1966. Also, only the United States has sent astronauts to the moon. With 6 landings he is 12.
Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the last astronauts to land on the moon on December 11, 1972, when Apollo 17’s Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt made it.
NASA’s Apollo moonscape was all about “tech excitement,” said Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace. Now, “it’s business excitement.”
“This is the dawn of the lunar economy,” Hakamada said during the SpaceX launch webcast. “Let’s go to the moon.”
Liftoff should have happened two weeks ago, but was delayed by SpaceX due to additional rocket checks.
Eight minutes after launch, the recycled first stage booster landed on Cape Canaveral under a near-full moon, echoing a double sonic boom through the night.
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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/12/11/japanese-companys-lander-rockets-toward-moon-with-uae-rover/ Japanese firm’s lander flies to the moon on UAE rover