The Japanese company ispace Inc. said that its spacecraft Hakuto-R Mission 1, which carried the Rashid Rover (Emirates Lunar Mission) had lost contact with the Rashid Rover. The company announced that its mission to accomplish the first private landing on the moon had failed.
The Japanese spacecraft Hakuto-R Mission 1 was scheduled to land on the moon around 8.40 p.m. GST
The spacecraft of the Japanese company which was seven feet tall was carrying the Lunar Mission of Emirates, Rashid Rover, and other international payloads. It was expected to land on the moon after an expedition of nearly five months.
The founder and the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Takeshi Hakamada said on a live stream that they have lost the communication with the spacecraft.
The tense mission control in Tokyo had waited for about 30 minutes to establish communication with the spaceship, but they were not able to confirm the successful landing of the spacecraft on the lunar surface.
The engineers and the mission control center tried hard to find out the current condition of the lander. They have been communicating with the lander before its landing and unfortunately, they lost the connection. They were not able to confirm communication with the lander. This led them to assume that they were unable to complete the landing on the surface of the lunar.
People around the globe, particularly in the UAE were waiting eagerly to witness the live landing of the spacecraft. It was anticipated to land on the surface of the moon by 8.40 p.m. and was almost in its last stage of landing when the connection was lost. This happened when it was just 10 meters away from the landing at a speed of 25 km per hour, the terminal descent phase before landing.
After the massive explosion of SpaceX’s Starship a few minutes after soaring off its launch pad. This mission was the second setback for the growth of the private space, that too within a week.
Nations are making efforts to mark their name by landing on the moon. The United States, the former Soviet Union, and China remain the only nations to have soft-landed on the spacecraft successfully so far. In recent years India and a private company from Israel have made attempts to soft-land a spacecraft on the moon which resulted in failure. A commercial private firm has not yet made a successful landing on the lunar.
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Hirokazu Matsuno, a senior spokesperson for the government of Japan stated that despite the failure of the mission the country wants ispace to “keep trying” in the field. He added that the efforts made by ispace were vital to the growth of the domestic space industry.
In recent years, Japan has experienced some setbacks in its mission to send Japanese astronauts to the moon by the late 2020s. The space agency of Japan was forced to destroy its new medium-lift H3 rocket on reaching space. The rocket was destroyed by the space agency due to the failure of its second-stage engine to ignite. The solid-fuel Epsilon rocket of the nation also experienced a failure after its launch in October.
The Muhammed Bin Rashid Space Centre of the UAE issued an official announcement regarding the message from the Japanese space company. The MBRSC commented on the noteworthy efforts taken by the mission partner iSpace.