The Japanese Moon lander is believed to have crashed as the company lost contact with it.

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Private Japanese moon lander likely crashed during landing attempt On Tuesday, the Japanese private space development company, ispace, lost contact with its lunar lander, M1, during its descent to the moon’s surface. The company later announced that it was likely that the lander crashed during the landing attempt. This marks the second setback for private space development within a week, following the explosive failure of SpaceX’s Starship rocket. Private companies have yet to succeed in a lunar landing, with only the US, former Soviet Union, and China having landed spacecraft on the moon.

Japan’s goal is to send Japanese astronauts to the moon by the late 2020s, and the country has recently faced several setbacks in achieving this goal. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency had to destroy its new medium-lift H3 rocket after its second-stage engine failed to ignite, and its solid-fuel Epsilon rocket also failed after launch in October. While the mission failed to accomplish its landing objective, Japan’s top government spokesperson has urged ispace to continue its efforts, as its contribution to the development of a domestic space industry is significant.

ispace’s M1 lander completed eight out of 10 mission objectives in space, providing valuable data for the next landing attempt in 2024, according to Takeshi Hakamada, the company’s founder and Chief Executive. The lander was carrying an experimental solid-state battery made by Niterra Co Ltd and was insured by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. The company’s shares, which debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange two weeks ago, were untraded on Wednesday morning, indicating a fall by their daily limit, after having doubled in value since their debut.

SOURCE: Ref-france24

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