- ispace’s HAKUTO-R M1 lunar lander navigates in deep space for one month, completing Success 5 of its Mission 1 Milestones.
- The lander has traveled approximately 1.34 million km from Earth and is scheduled to be at its farthest point from our planet by January 20.
- During the next stage of navigation, the M1 lander will prepare for an orbital insertion.
PRESS RELEASE — Tokyo / January 11, 2023 –ispace, inc., a global lunar exploration company, announced today that its HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander has successfully completed Success 5 of its Mission 1 Milestones by completing a month-long stable navigation and nominal cruise in deep space.
The HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lander, which was successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 11, 2022, completed its first orbit control maneuver on Dec. 15, 2022, followed by a second orbital control maneuver on Jan. 2, 2023. The completion of these operations as part of the mission plan, including multiple orbital control maneuvers, over a period of one month is considered highly significant because it increases confidence in future Mission 1 flight operations and provides crucial data that will be incorporated into plans for Mission 2 and Mission 3.
As of Jan. 11, 2023, the lander has traveled approximately 1.34 million kilometers from the Earth and is scheduled to be at its farthest point of approximately 1.4 million km from the Earth by Jan. 20, 2023. Once the lander reaches its farthest point from Earth, a third orbital control maneuver may be performed, depending on its navigational status.
Since its launch on Dec. 11, 2022, the lander has maintained stable navigation in accordance with the mission plan. During the next stage of navigation, the M1 lander will utilize gravitational forces to complete all deep space control maneuvers and prepare for an orbital insertion. The completion of these maneuvers, currently projected for late March, will signify the achievement of Mission Milestone 6, at which point an announcement is expected to be made. Subsequently, Success 7 of the Mission Milestones, the lunar orbit injection, is scheduled to take place soon thereafter.
While we do not expect an official milestone announcement for some time, further updates about the status of the lander continue to be made on social media: @ispace_inc (https://twitter.com/ispace_inc)
Mission 1 Milestones
For Mission 1, ispace has set 10 milestones between launch and landing, and aims to achieve the success criteria established for each of these milestones. Recognizing the possibility of an anomaly during the mission, the results will be weighed and evaluated against the criteria and incorporated into future missions already in development between now and 2025. Mission 2 and Mission 3, which also will contribute to NASA’s Artemis Program, will further improve the maturity of ispace’s technology and business model. Future announcements on progress of milestone achievement are expected to be released once attained.
Featured image: Actual position, distances and scale of spacecraft and stellar bodies may differ. Credit: ispace