'White Rabbit' Moon Landing Will Be a Big First

Hakuto lander from Japan firm ispace will be first spacecraft from private company to land on moon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2023 10:39 AM CDT
'White Rabbit' Moon Landing Will Be a Big First
In this photo, a technician works on the Hakuto spacecraft in Japan.   (ispace via AP)

A Japanese company is about to attempt what no other private business has done: land on the moon. Tokyo's ispace company put its own spacecraft into orbit around the moon a month ago. On Tuesday, flight controllers will direct the craft, named Hakuto (Japanese for "white rabbit") to descend from 60 miles high and land. The 7-foot lander is carrying a mini lunar rover for the United Arab Emirates and a toylike robot from Japan designed to roll around in the moon dust, per the AP.

Hakuto took a long, roundabout route to the moon following its December liftoff, beaming back photos of Earth along the way. Only three governments have successfully landed on the moon: Russia, the United States, and China. An Israeli nonprofit tried to land on the moon in 2019, but its spacecraft was destroyed on impact. Per TechCrunch, Hakuto's landing is set for around 12:40pm ET on Tuesday. Watch it live here.

(More Japan stories.)

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