Tokyo-based ispace says its attempt to land on the moon failed

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ispace, a Japanese private space agency, attempted to land a spacecraft on the moon. It lost contact with Mission Control just before the planned touchdown.

The Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander was privately owned, developed, and operated by ispace. The name Hakuto means white rabbit in Japanese.

The lunar landing was targeted on the Atlas crater in the northeastern section of the moon’s near side. The area is more than 50 miles (87 kilometers) across and about 1 mile (2 kilometers) deep.

If the landing had been successful, ispace would have become the first private business to land on the moon.

Only three governments – Russia, the United States, and China – have successfully made it to the lunar surface.

In 2019, an Israeli nonprofit attempted to land on the moon, but its spacecraft was destroyed on impact.

ispace moon mission

The four-month mission began on December 11, 2022, when Hakuto-R lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The lander was stowed on top of a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket.