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Spacecraft Carrying UAE's Rashid Rover Made Hard Landing on the Moon

Japan's ispace lost communication with the lander before the landing had been made.

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 26 April 2023
Spacecraft Carrying UAE's Rashid Rover Made Hard Landing on the Moon

Japan-based ispace believes that its spacecraft HAKUTO-R Mission 1 (M1), carrying UAE's Rashid Rover, made a hard landing on the lunar surface. 

Ispace shared that the communication between the lander and the mission control centre (MCC) was lost and had not been established even after eight hours of the scheduled touchdown. 

The 7ft M1 had begun the landing sequence from a 100 km orbit on Tuesday evening. The spacecraft's scheduled touchdown was at 8:40 p.m. UAE time, however when the live telemetry data indicated that the landing had almost been made, the engineers lost communication with the M1.

Based on the data available with ispace after the loss of the communication, they approximated that the lander eventually made a hard landing on the lunar surface.

Ispace engineers are planning to conduct an in-depth analysis of the telemetry data that is available to investigate the root cause of the situation.

The company sees its key milestone of successfully landing on the Moon and establishing communication as no longer achievable. Ispace had set ten milestones for M1 from launch to landing, but the company sees that they have only achieved eight from launch to lunar orbit insertion. 

Nonetheless, the data the company has acquired from the beginning until the near end of the landing sequence will be utilized for a future successful lunar landing mission, which they expect to be M2 and that is scheduled for 2024.

Despite this experience, ispace is still the first private company to pull off a lunar landing. 

Image source: ispace website