SpaceX postponed the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the HAKUTO-R spacecraft. The decision was made after checking the carrier. The company has not yet announced a new launch date.
The device “HAKUTO-R” was created by the Japanese company iSpace. It is designed to deliver a payload to the lunar surface. There are several scientific instruments on board the HAKUTO-R, as well as the Rashid: the first ever Arab rover. The 10-kilogram spacecraft was built by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (UAE).
In addition to the HAKUTO-R and Rashid, the Falcon 9 carries another cargo: the Lunar Flashlight cubesat built by NASA specialists. It is designed to search for traces of water ice and volatile substances on the Moon. It is assumed that during the flight over the polar craters, the satellite will illuminate their bottom with a laser in order to search for ice and determine the chemical composition of the surface.
The launch of the HAKUTO-R was supposed to take place on November 30. But at first SpaceX shifted it by a day, explaining the decision by the need for additional checks, and then postponed it indefinitely. So far, the company has not announced a new launch date for the mission.
Recall that iSpace is taking part in an unofficial competition for the right to become the first private company to successfully land its spacecraft on the Moon. Its closest competitors are American startups Intuitive Machines and Astrobotic. The launches of their lunar missions should take place early next year.
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