The first private landing on the Moon ended in failure after Japanese startup ispace failed to communicate with its lunar rover. This was reported by The Verge.
Engineers discovered a loss of communication as the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander approached the lunar surface.
“Currently, we have not confirmed communications from the lander,” ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada said during a livestream of the mission. “So we have to assume that we could not complete the landing.”
After the live broadcast, ispace reported that experts are working to confirm the current state of the device.
“Further information on the status of the lander will be announced as it becomes available,” the company added.
ispace launched Hakuto-R from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December. The spacecraft then embarked on a three-month journey to reach lunar orbit. Hakuto-R was scheduled to land on the lunar surface at 12:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday. It carried two lunar rovers: a four-wheeler from the UAE and a Star Wars-style mini rover made by Sony and Japanese toy maker Tomy.
We will remind that on April 20, the attempted orbital flight of the SpaceX Starship ended with an explosion. From the first seconds of the launch, it was clear that several of the 33 Raptor engines of the Super Heavy launch vehicle were not working. At 4 minutes into the flight, after the Starship and Super Heavy began an uncontrolled fall, an explosion occurred that destroyed the rocket.