A Tokyo company aims to reach the moon with its private spaceship on Sunday, taking off atop a SpaceX rocket with the United Arab Emirates’ first rover and a Japanese-style robot designed to roll in there in the gray dust.
It will take about five months for the test spacecraft to reach the moon.
iSpace has designed its technology to use less fuel to save money and leave more room for cargo.
So it travels on a slow, steady path to the Moon, flying 1 million miles (1.6 million km) from Earth before turning back and rejoining the Moon in late April.
By contrast, NASA’s Orion spacecraft with dummies took five days to reach the moon last month.
The tour ended last Sunday.
The lander will aim to drive Atlas into the northeast region of the moon, more than 50 miles (87 km) across and more than 1 mile (2 km) across.
With its four extended legs, the climber is over 7 feet (2.3 meters) tall.
With scientific satellites already around Mars, the UAE wants to explore the moon, too.
His rover, named Rashid after the royal family of Dubai, weighs just 22 kilograms (10 kilograms), and will operate on the ground for 10 days, like everything else in the project.
Emirates operations manager Hamad AlMarzooqi said the landing on an unexplored part of the moon would provide “new and valuable” scientific data.
In addition, the moon is an “ideal platform” to test new technologies that could be used for human expeditions to Mars.
In addition there is national pride – the rover represents “the country’s first mission in the field of space and a historic moment which, if successful, will be the first Emirati and Arab mission to land on the surface of the moon, ” he said in a statement. following liftoff.
In addition, the spacecraft is carrying an orange-sized piece from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency that will transform into a lunar rover. Also flying: a powerful battery from a Japanese electronics company; the Ottawa, Ontario-based company’s flight computer with artificial intelligence to identify features of the terrain seen by the UAE rover; and 360-degree cameras from a Toronto-area company.
Ascending the rocket is a small NASA laser probe that is now bound for the moon itself to hunt for ice in the dark craters of the moon’s south pole.
The ispace project is called Hakuto, Japanese for white rabbit. In Asian history, the white rabbit is said to live on the moon.
The second moon landing of the private company is planned for 2024 and the third in 2025.
Founded in 2010, ispace is among the winners of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition that aims to land on the moon by 2018.
The lunar rover built by ispace was never launched.
Another finalist, an Israeli NGO called SpaceIL, managed to reach the moon in 2019.
But instead of landing safely, Beresheet’s spacecraft crashed into the moon and was destroyed.
With an early Sunday morning launch from Cape Canaveral, space is now on its way to becoming one of the first secret missions to attempt a moon landing.
Although not launched until early next year, lunar landers from Pittsburgh’s Institute of Astrobotic Technology and Houston’s Intuitive Instruments could beat spaceflight to the moon due to shorter travel times.
Only Russia, the United States and China have achieved a so-called “soft landing” on the moon, since the former Soviet Union’s Luna 9 in 1966. And only the United States has put astronauts on the lunar surface: 12 men passed six.
Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the last astronaut landing, performed by Eugene Cernan of Apollo 17 and Harrison Schmitt on December 11, 1972.
NASA’s Apollo moonshots were all “about the enjoyment of the technology,” said ispace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada, who was no longer alive at the time.
Now, “it’s the joy of the business.” “This is the dawn of the lunar economy,” Hakamada said in SpaceX’s launch website. “Let’s go to the moon.” Liftoff was supposed to happen two weeks ago, but SpaceX delayed it for more rocket research.
Eight minutes after launch, the recycled first-stage booster returned to Cape Canaveral under a moonlit sky, a double sonic boom echoing through the night.
(This article has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and was generated automatically from the linked feed.)