SpaceX Sets New Date For Japanese Moon Lander To Make History

SpaceX Sets New Date For Japanese Moon Lander To Make History
Photo Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX has set a new launch date for a private Japanese Moon lander after being hit by multiple delays. The space company will now be targeting December 11 for launch. If things go according to plan, a Falcon 9 rocket will take the Tokyo-based company ispace's Hakuto-R lander toward the Moon, SpaceX announced.


Sunday is going to be a big day for astronomers and space enthusiasts alike, as NASA’s Orion capsule is expected to splash down the same day, wrapping the space agency’s first leg of its Artemis Moon mission.

Japan’s Moon Lander To Create History

The upcoming SpaceX flight, which will put ispace’s Mission 1 on the right track, was earlier scheduled to take off last month. The launch got delayed several times, as SpaceX wanted to perform additional checks on its Falcon 9. The launch will create history as it will be the world’s first private lander to go to the lunar surface.

SpaceX is yet to share what those checks investigated. The company, in an update, said the Falcon 9 and Hakuto-R lander, which will also ferry a small UAE moon rover, are "looking good for launch."

The mission isn’t the only Falcon 9 flight that has been delayed. SpaceflightNow’s launch calendar shows the first launch of OneWeb internet satellites has also been delayed by SpaceX.

Ispace Aiming Big With New Launch

The Hakuto-R is only 2 by 2.5 meters in size and the UAE rover it will carry is named Rashid. The mission will also boost UAE’s space ambitions, as it’s a new entrant in the space race. Rashid will become the country’s first Moon mission if things go as expected.

Hakuto, on the other hand, was a finalist at the international Google Lunar XPrize competition, which challenged the participants to land a rover on the Moon before a 2018 deadline. While the competition ended without a winner, some of the projects took off and are still in development.

ispace is a small space company that currently has only around 200 employees. The company says it "aims to extend the sphere of human life into space and create a sustainable world by providing high-frequency, low-cost transportation services to the Moon.”

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