Japanese Startup Plans to Launch Moon Lander Nov. 28

Science Society

Tokyo, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese space exploration startup ispace Inc. has said that its first lunar lander will be launched aboard a U.S. rocket Nov. 28.

The Tokyo-based company aims to put the lander, to be launched as part of its Hakuto-R lunar exploration program, on the moon around the end of next April.

The 340-kilogram lander, 2.3 meters high and 2.6 meters wide when its legs for landing are deployed, will be transported on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, set to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the U.S. state of Florida at 8:46 a.m. GMT Nov. 28, ispace said Thursday.

The lander, which can carry up to 30 kilograms of payloads, is slated to send to the moon a transformable robot for lunar surface exploration developed mainly by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, and toy maker Tomy Co. <7867>, as well as a lunar rover of the United Arab Emirates.

Ispace also plans to launch another moon lander carrying the company's own rover in 2024 and a large lander by 2025, aiming to realize a commercial service to transport goods to the surface of the moon.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press