NASA has photographed the possible wreckage of Japan’s first “privately funded” moon landing, but is intent on crashing it during landing.
According to the Independent’s report, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Reconnaissance (LRO) satellite captured images of four large craters, which are the debris of Japan’s ispace Hakuto-R Mission-1 spacecraft.
Flying over the area in question, NASA’s LRO took 10 pictures around the landing site.
By comparing images of the same area before the landing attempt, the NASA team identified “an unusual surface change at the potential landing site.”
As a result of the comparison, at least 4 protruding pieces of debris and some minor surface changes were identified, which could be other parts of the lander’s hull.
LRO engineer Emerson Speyerer stated, on his social media account, that the area will be analyzed further in the coming months using the LRO camera.
iSpace has announced that Phases 2 and 3 of the “Hakuto-R” program are underway, and data from the failed landing is expected to aid future missions.
LRO had previously detected the remnants of Israel’s Beresheet and India’s Vikram spacecraft on the lunar surface, which also failed.
Trade Month Tasks
Japanese public television NHK reported that if successful, a spacecraft made by a private company will land on the moon for the first time.
It was announced that the robot, which was transported in spacecraft cargo and produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and toy company Tomy, is scheduled to perform surface research.
The unmanned spacecraft was sent to the Moon by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in December 2022.
Hakuto-R successfully entered lunar orbit on March 21, but ISpace reported that the rover, which is expected to land on the lunar surface on April 26, lost contact with the control center in Tokyo, and that the spacecraft may have crashed during the attempted landing.
The exploration program takes its name from a type of “white rabbit believed to live on the moon” by the Japanese people.
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