Japanese Startup ispace Inc Admits Failure in Attempt to 1st Private Moon Landing

Tokyo: Japanese startup ispace Inc (9348.T) said its attempt to make the first private moon landing had failed after losing contact with its Hakuto-R Mission 1 (M1) lander, concluding it had most likely crashed on the lunar surface.

ispace in a statement said the final pings of data in the moments before the planned touchdown showed the lander’s speed rapidly increasing, leading engineers at mission control in Tokyo to determine a successful landing was not achievable. But a lunar landing would be an ambitious feat for a private firm.

Only the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China have soft-landed spacecraft on the moon, with attempts in recent years by India and a private Israeli company ending in failure.

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