This stunning image of the Moon was captured from lunar orbit and transmitted by the Hakuto-R lander, which was constructed by the Japanese private space technology firm Ispace.
Ispace, a Japanese private space technology firm, has shared another image of the Moon taken by their lunar lander, Hakutu-R. This latest image is different from the previous “crescent Earth” image, as it was captured from the lunar orbit. The picture displays several brightly illuminated craters on the Moon, along with some partially lit ones at the edge of the Moon’s visible area in the image. The remaining area of the photo is occupied by the vast darkness of space. To reach the Moon, Ispace’s lander took a slow and low-energy trajectory, covering a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers from the planet before entering lunar orbit. It is worth noting that NASA’s Artemis 1 mission accomplished the same feat in just five days following launch.
The Hakuto-R lander’s target destination is the Atlas crater located in the northeastern region of the Moon’s near side. With a width of more than 87 kilometers and a depth of over 2 kilometers, the crater is quite significant. If the lander can achieve a successful touchdown, it would become the first privately-built spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon. Only the United States, Russia, and China have accomplished this feat thus far, with Israel’s 2019 attempt ending in failure when the spacecraft lost communication with Earth and crashed into the Moon moments before landing. India also faced a similar setback in the same year when the Chandrayaan-2 lander was unable to reduce its speed sufficiently for a soft landing. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently announced that their follow-up mission, Chandrayaan-3, will have a primary objective of executing a precise landing on the Moon.
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