SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
‘Stage is set’: Japan startup eyes moon landing late April
Baku, April 12, AZERTAC
A commercial space startup in Japan on Wednesday said its Hakuto-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander is expected to touch surface of the moon late April, making it the first private company in the world to reach the celestial body, according to Anadolu Agency.
The lander took off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in the US aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December, and is orbiting the moon since March, capturing its images.
If the mission goes as planned, the spacecraft will touch down at around 1.40 a.m. (1640 GMT) on April 26, Japan Standard Time, Ispace said in a statement.
“What we have accomplished so far is already a great achievement, and we are already applying lessons learned from this flight to our future missions ... The stage is set. I am looking forward to witnessing this historic day, marking the beginning of a new era of commercial lunar missions," said Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of Ispace.
A live-streaming broadcast from Tokyo is being planned for the landing day, the company said, adding that more details will be announced soon.