A daring company is about to try landing on the moon. You can watch it.

Other Space Companies and space nations have tried and failed before.

Undeterred by previous flops, a Japanese company is set to attempt to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon. If it succeeds, Space could claim the first commercial moon landing in history.

The company will broadcast the event live at 11:40 am ET April 25, 2023, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Mission Control in Tokyo as engineers oversee the challenging feat. Moon landings are rare in and of themselves, let alone opportunities for the public to watch them in real time.

The mission known as HAKUTO-R(opens in a new tab), is one of several commercial lunar missions coming soon. Others in the pipeline are a result of NASA‘s Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program, launched in 2018 recruit the private sector(opens in a new tab) to help deliver cargo to the moon. Space(opens in a new tab)a start-up specializing in lander vehicles, could not participate directly in the NASA program as it is not an American company, but it is working on a contract led by Massachusetts-based Draper Technologies to land on the moon in 2025.


Why 2023 should be called the Year of the Lunar Modules

All of these upcoming missions are designed to support the US Space Agency’s lunar ambitions, transport supplies and experiments to the surface ahead of the astronauts’ arrival in 2025 or later, and launch them a future lunar economy. NASA has a contract of sale for this first attempt at ispace lunar dust samples(opens in a new tab) collected during the mission. HAKUTO-R also transports cargo for several other customers: it will attempt to deliver two rovers, one each from the Emirates(opens in a new tab) And Japanese(opens in a new tab) space programs to the surface.

“I see this as the beginning of a new phase of commercial missions to the (Moon) with 3 #CLPS launches expected from (the United States) in 2023,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, former NASA chief of science, in a tweet(opens in a new tab).

“I see this as the beginning of a new phase of commercial missions to (the Moon) with 3 #CLPS launches expected from (the United States) in 2023.”

Hakuto-R photographs the moon

A camera on the ispace spacecraft captured an image of the moon’s eastern limb on March 26, 2023, including the craters Petavius, Vendelinus, and Langrenus.
Photo credit: ispace

Ispace’s attempt to land on the moon will be broadcast live youtube(opens in a new tab). Should conditions change, the team has identified three alternative lunar landing sites. Depending on the location, the landing date could change, officials said. Fallbacks are scheduled for April 26, May 1, and May 3.

During the landing sequence, the spacecraft performs engine braking to decelerate from orbit. Using a series of preset commands, the lander adjusts its orientation and speed to land smoothly on the lunar surface. The process is expected to take about an hour.

People around the world watching the live stream have a glimpse inside the company’s mission control center in Tokyo. The show will also feature live and pre-recorded interviews. If the landing is successful, ispace will visually confirm the spacecraft is on the moon, company spokesman Andrew Ames told Mashable.

HAKUTO-R comes from the Google Lunar XPrize(opens in a new tab) Competition that offered $20 million to the first private spacecraft developer to land, travel 500 meters and beam back video from the moon. The deal expired before any of the competitors involved made it.

After launching in December 2022 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the spacecraft has embarked on a long, five-month trip to the moon to save on fuel costs. It completed a successful orbital injection maneuver that put HAKUTO-R into lunar orbit on Mar 21 and its final maneuver before landing on April 13.

want more Science and tech news straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable’s Top Stories newsletter Today.

This isn’t the first time the private sector has attempted the feat: In 2019, an Israeli nonprofit and an Israeli company collaborated on the $100 million Beresheet mission, which would land on the moon. During the descent of the spacecraft, a orienting component failed, causing the main engine to fail.

Mission controllers attempted to reset the spacecraft, but by the time the engine restarted, it was too late: the engineers had lost communications with the vehicle. It crashed into the moon and may have scattered some of them fascinating artifacts, like microscopic tardigrades aka “water bears” suspended in epoxy resin. Nova Spivack, co-founder of the Arch Mission Foundation that manufactured the payload, told a Mashable reporter four years ago He hadn’t informed the Beresheet team that he was adding the creatures to their cargo.

Brad Jolliff, director of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, believes that over the next five years a number of other commercial companies will follow suit, hauling cargo to the moon and enabling science experiments.

“There is a business case for the moon,” Jolliff told Mashable in a previous interview. This new era of lunar exploration and voyage “will not be conducted entirely by NASA but with international partners and commercial partners.”

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing zackzwiezen@ustimespost.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button