The Japanese company Ispace is launching its HAKUTO-R 1 spacecraft to the moon on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 30.
The Japanese company ispace will launch its HAKUTO-R 1 spacecraft on November 30. It aims to become the first mission from a private company to land on the lunar surface. If it succeeds, it will make history and kick-start a new era of lunar exploration. As revealed in a statement, the HAKUTO-R1 is the company’s first mission of the HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program. Ispace is based in Tokyo, Japan, and has offices in Luxembourg and the United States. It will be launched at 0839 UTC into a low energy transfer orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the Moon. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral.
The journey to the Moon is expected to take three to five months. During this time, the spacecraft will venture into deep space and back. Once on the Moon, it will carry out a series of experiments cooperating with various commercial and agencies on Earth, ispace reported in a pre-launch statement.
What to expect
Ispace has contacted the European Space Agency to ensure communication between the spacecraft and its equipment on Earth throughout the mission remains flawless. This will be possible thanks to ESA’s global network of tracking stations. These will be used to transmit commands to the spacecraft and receive scientific data and information. This includes the status of the mission and experiments carried out on the Moon. As revealed by the private space company, its spacecraft is expected to travel as far away as 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. This is roughly four times the distance between Earth and the Moon. The spacecraft will enter lunar orbit for about a month before the entire spacecraft attempts a soft landing on the surface of the Moon. Also, as per iSpace, lunar operations will last approximately two weeks. Landing is scheduled as close to lunar sunrise at the landing site as possible to maximize mission time.