First commercial moon landing likely to fail | Technology and science
The first commercial moon landing appears to have failed. An unmanned Japanese lander was scheduled to surface Tuesday evening, but no longer sent a signal to Earth. Flight control investigates the situation, but assumes the lander has been lost.
So far, it is unclear exactly what happened. A flight to the moon involves many risks.
The company behind the mission, ispace, eventually wants to extract raw materials and water from the moon. It could help build a manned base on the moon. Mission 1 of the Hakuto-R project is to test design and technology. The second mission is scheduled for next year and the third mission in 2025.
The lander has been orbiting the Moon for the past month, at an altitude of about 100 kilometers above the surface. At around 5:40 p.m. Dutch time on Tuesday, the engines started up, causing the probe to brake and sink. About an hour later it would land softly in the Atlas crater on the moon. It was fully automated.
An unmanned scout is also lost
An unmanned reconnaissance aircraft from the United Arab Emirates also accompanied the lander. The cart named Rashid is expected to circle the moon with cameras and sensors for about two weeks for scientific research.
The lander and orbiter were launched in December. They flew to the moon by a long detour. As a result, the flight lasted months, not days.
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 have 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 is receiving help from Canada, Europe and Japan. ispace is also involved.
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