The private Japanese spacecraft Hakuto-R is preparing to make a historic attempt to land on the Moon on April 25. The lander is currently in orbit around the Moon. iSpace specialists have chosen the date of the event, which falls on Tuesday, April 25, at 06:40 p.m. GMT+3. Alternative landing dates were also chosen: April 26, May 1 and May 3.
The Hakuto-R spacecraft was launched in December 2022 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Currently , the probe is in an elliptical lunar orbit with a periselion of 100 km and an aposelion of 2300 km. From there, the spacecraft has already taken some amazing pictures.
When attempting to land, the lander will perform braking mode at maximum approach, launching the main power plant to slow down and descend from orbit.
“Utilizing a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its attitude and reduce velocity in order to make a soft landing on the lunar surface. The process will take approximately one hour,” iSpace commented on the upcoming maneuver.
It is planned to conduct a live broadcast in iSpace, which will allow subscribers to track the landing maneuver in almost real time. The company chose Atlas crater, located on the southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris (“Sea of Cold”), for its purpose.
Plans for 2024 and 2025
If successful, the Hakuto-R will be the first private spacecraft to land safely on the Moon. The spacecraft also carries a tiny rover “Rashid” from the United Arab Emirates Space Agency. Success will make Japan the fourth country to make a soft landing on the Moon, after the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
While the landing has not yet been carried out, the company is already working on its second and third missions to the Moon, focusing on launches in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Earlier, India with the Chandrayaan-2 lander and the Israeli company SpaceIL with Beresheet failed in attempts to land on the Moon in 2019.
According to Space.
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