SpaceX Launch Aims to Send Private Lander to the Moon Written 30 November 2022


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 at Launch Complex 39A. | Credit: Joel Kowsky; NASA

The Orlando (FL) Sentinel reports that a Falcon 9 rocket “is carrying private Japanese company ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander, the first of a planned series of landers that if successful will make it the first commercial soft landing ever on the moon.” Also on board is “NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s briefcase-sized Lunar Flashlight, that plans to map ice in the permanently shadowed spaces near the moon’s south pole.” Liftoff from Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 “is set for...Thursday at 3:37 a.m.” The HAKUTO-R series lander is “small, less than 8 feet tall weighing around 750 pounds at landing including space for about 66 pounds of customer cargo.” It’s taking the long way “around to the moon after launch using the gravity of Earth and the sun for an assist before a planned touchdown five months after launch in April 2023, an effort to trade off costly fuel for payload space.”
Full Story (Orlando Sentinel)