18 Mar, 2023
HAKUTO-R M1 Lunar Lander Completes All Deep Space Maneuvers Prior to Lunar Orbit Insertion
TOKYO—March 18, 2023—ispace, inc., (ispace) a global lunar exploration company, today announced that its HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander has successfully completed Success 6 of its Mission 1 Milestones by completing all deep space orbital control maneuvers before lunar orbital insertion (LOI).
The above diagram approximates the position of the M1 lander on March 18, 2023, and is for visualization purposes only. Actual position, distances and scale of spacecraft and stellar bodies may differ.
The Mission 1 lander, which was successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 11, 2022, completed its fourth orbital control maneuver at 08:58 (JST) on March 17, 2023, under direction of ispace engineers in the Mission Control Center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. The orbital control maneuver was the last orbital control maneuver before LOI maneuvers, and was successfully executed using the lander’s main propulsion system.
The lander completed its first orbit control maneuver in December 2022, followed by a second orbital control maneuver in January 2023. Since then, the lander has also conducted successful maneuvers in February 2023.
The lander is currently in a stable attitude on its trajectory to the Moon. Final preparations for the first LOI maneuver are now in progress. The next announcement is expected upon successful completion of the LOI maneuver, which means that the lander will enter the lunar gravity region and orbit around the Moon.
Mission 1 Milestones
For Mission 1, ispace has set 10 milestones between launch and landing, and aims to achieve the success criteria established for each of these milestones. Recognizing the possibility of an anomaly during the mission, the results will be weighed and evaluated against the criteria and incorporated into future missions already in development between now and 2025. Mission 2 and Mission 3, which also will contribute to NASA’s Artemis Program, will further improve the maturity of ispace’s technology and business model. Future announcements on progress of milestone achievement are expected to be released once attained.
About ispace, inc.
ispace, a global lunar resource development company with the vision, “Expand our Planet. Expand our Future.”, specializes in designing and building lunar landers and rovers. ispace aims to extend the sphere of human life into space and create a sustainable world by providing high-frequency, low-cost transportation services to the Moon. The company has offices in Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States with more than 200 employees worldwide. ispace U.S. is part of a team led by Draper, which was awarded a NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program contract to land on the far side of the Moon by 2025. Both ispace, and ispace EU were awarded contracts to collect and transfer ownership of lunar regolith to NASA, and ispace EU was selected by ESA to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program which seeks to extract water on the Moon.
Established in 2010, ispace operated “HAKUTO”, which was one of five finalist teams in the Google Lunar XPRIZE race. The company’s first mission as part of its HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program launched on Dec. 11, 2022, from the United States on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is currently expected to land on the lunar surface at the end of April 2023. Subsequent missions are in development with launches expected in 2024 and 2025. ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support new customers as a gateway to conduct business on the Moon.
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