Japan’s attempt to put a lander on the moon’s surface finally failed Sciences

to updateIt fails to land a Japanese lander safely on the lunar surface. The device did not send a signal to Earth that it had arrived, in time. The Japanese company behind the mission, iSpace, said in a statement that “a successful landing on the moon and establishing communications is no longer possible.”



It is not clear what exactly went wrong. The flight controller investigates the situation, but assumes that the lunar probe has made an emergency landing on the moon. It was supposed to be the first commercial landing on the moon. A trip to the Moon involves many risks and there are many ways such a mission could fail.

The company behind the mission, ispace, wants to eventually extract raw materials and water from the lunar surface. This could help build a manned base on the moon. The first task of the Hakuto-R project is to test the design and technology. The second mission is scheduled for next year and the third in 2025.

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Hakuto-R simulation on the moon. ©AP

I’ve been on the road for a while

The device was launched in December at Cape Canaveral, USA, aboard a SpaceX rocket. The probe has been in orbit around the moon since last month, about 100 km above the surface. On Tuesday around 5:40 pm Belgian time, the engines fired, causing the lander to brake and sink the lander. About an hour later, he softly landed in the Moon’s Atlas crater. That was completely automated.

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The probe was accompanied by a reconnaissance drone from the Emirates. Rashid’s rover has to orbit the moon for about two weeks to conduct scientific research using cameras and sensors. The probe and orbiter were launched in December. They flew to the moon by a long detour. As a result, the journey took months, not days.

Previous attempts in other countries

So far, only the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, and China have managed to land safely on the Moon. Attempts by Israel and India failed.

The United States wants to allow people to walk on the moon again in a few years, for the first time since 1972. The country receives help from Canada, Europe and Japan. ispace is also involved.

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