Crash Landing: Unraveling the Mystery of Japan’s Close Now

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Crash Landing: Unraveling the Mystery of Japan’s Lunar Lander

The Hakuto-R Mission 1 (M1) lunar lander was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Station located in Florida using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 11, 2022.

The well-known Japanese company Ispace aimed to be the first private space company to land on the Moon successfully. However, similar to Israel’s Bersheet lander in 2019, the mission ended in a crash during the final moments of descent.

The company investigated and determined the cause of its lunar lander’s crash on the Moon. Surprisingly, the miscalculation of its distance to the lunar surface.

Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of Ispace, expressed confidence in the technical reliability of Mission 1 as the lander reached the lunar surface before the crash.

The company discovered that as the lander descended, it mistakenly believed it was at almost zero altitudes, around 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the surface.

This caused the lander to slow down prematurely, resulting in running out of fuel and a subsequent free fall onto the Moon.

The lunar lander height was incorrectly measured after crossing a crater rim that was about 1.8 miles (3 km) higher than the surrounding lunar surface.

The Hakuto-R M1 lunar lander was carrying several payloads including the Japanese space agency’s small transformable robot small.

The unsuccessful landing attempt resulted in a 20% decline in Ispace’s stock, which was the company’s worst performance since going public. However, Ispace is actively working and is implementing improvements for future missions, including Mission 2 and Mission 3.