NASA Discovers Crashed Japanese Moon Lander
NASA discovers crashed Japanese moon lander as ispace's ambitious endeavor to become the first private company to achieve a successful lunar landing had an undeniable impact. NASA's space telescope, positioned in orbit around the Moon, captured the visible evidence of the vehicle's collision with the lunar surface.
The Japanese company, ispace, had high aspirations for its Hakuto-R mission, aiming to showcase its capability to safely reach the Moon and capitalize on the growing investment in lunar cargo deliveries from both NASA and private entities. However, this feat proved to be an arduous challenge, as two out of the three previous attempts had ended in failure.
According to a statement made by ispace:
Based on this, it has been determined that there is a high probability that the lander eventually made a hard landing on the Moon's surface.
Tragically, the Hakuto lander encountered a critical setback as it depleted its fuel reserves for the rocket engines during its descent, leading to an unintended acceleration and a subsequent crash. This unfortunate event stands as a testament to the precarious nature of safety margins in the realm of spaceflight.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/nasa-discovers-crashed-japanese-moon-lander/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2023-05-24T21:22:57.879Z
"High probability" Japanese spacecraft crashed on moon
Since 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has diligently orbited the Moon, meticulously surveying and charting its terrain. Presently, the LRO has unveiled the initial imagery of the impact location, necessitating the collaborative efforts of scientists from the Goddard Space Flight Center and Arizona State University.
Their task involved meticulous examination to identify alterations on the lunar surface. (Similar investigations were conducted following the crash of SpaceIL's Beresheet lander in 2019.) To assist in establishing your bearings, here is a map of the Moon with a focus on the Atlas crater, where the Hakuto-R mission aimed to touch down.
Despite the setback encountered by the Hakuto lander, ispace remains determined to forge ahead with its lunar exploration endeavors. The company has outlined plans for two upcoming missions: another attempt utilizing its Hakuto series lander, as well as a collaborative venture with the US firm Draper Labs. The latter partnership involves the transportation of scientific instruments to the Moon for NASA, as part of Draper Labs' contractual obligations.
NASA, on its part, has allocated a significant budget of $2.6 billion to engage various companies for the purpose of lunar cargo delivery in the coming years. Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, aiming to establish their presence as leading private organizations in lunar exploration, are hopeful to launch their respective landers and contend for the distinction of being the first to successfully reach the lunar surface. These anticipated launches are expected to take place sometime in 2023.