As with any landing on the Moon there are many anxious moments. That was no different today, and even those around the world watching remotely through YouTube could sense it. At ispace mission control, and in the auditorium where executives, officials and invitees watched, looks spoke loudly. First there was the anticipation of a possible successful landing, then the resignation that something had gone wrong.
We won’t know what went wrong until after all the mission data is reviewed. And even then they might not have complete clarity.
For now ispace has issued the following statement.
“ispace, inc., (ispace) a global lunar exploration company, announced today that the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander was expected to land on the surface of the Moon at 1:40 am JST on April 26, 2023. At this time, HAKUTO-R Mission Control Center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo has not been able to confirm the success of the Lunar Lander.”
“ispace engineers and mission operations specialists in the Mission Control Center are currently working to confirm the current status of the lander. Further information on the status of the lander will be announced as it becomes available.”
ispace Founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada told the audience before the webcast came to an end, “we will keep going, never quit, do not quit.” ispace has two more Hakuto-R missions currently planned, one next year and another in 2025.
Unfortunately for the two Canadian companies with payloads on the mission, Canadensys Aerospace and Mission Control, their mission has come to an end as well. However, it should be noted both have payloads on upcoming missions, and for Canadensys Aerospace, that includes missions this year.