Moon landing: The first lunar landing funded by private money is scheduled to occur and you can view a live stream of the event on Tuesday.
Its Japanese counterpart iSpace launched its Hakuto-R Series 1 lander to the moon on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December. Since then it’s been moving towards insertion into the lunar orbit, which was achieved on the 21st of March.
“During the sequence, the lender will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit,” iSpace stated via its website. “Utilizing the pre-programmed commands the lander will change its position and speed to ensure an easy landing on the lunar surface. It will take around an hour.”
Image credit: Digital Trends
The privately-built Hakuto-R Series 1 lander is carrying two moon rovers The Sora-Q of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Rashid which was built in the United Arab Emirates’ space agency.
While Sora-Q and Rashid will examine the geological characteristics on the moon’s surface this mission is mostly an event to test testing the ability of iSpace to successfully place a payload onto the moon’s surface.
By doing this, you will be able to secure iSpace membership in an elite club that is made up of members from the U.S., China, and the former Soviet Union.
Two other countries — India and Israel — have tried to land on the moon with separate missions in the year 2019 however both were unsuccessful. India is currently preparing to try again in a few months.
How do I watch
iSpace will try to launch its payload on Tuesday, April 25 around 9:40 p.m. at PT (1:40 a.m. at the 26th of April, Tokyo time).
The live stream will start in the 8th minute at 8:30 a.m. PST. You can stream it using the player in the upper right-hand corner of this web page or visit the iSpace YouTube channel and watch the exact same video.
The successful launch this week from iSpace will position it perfectly for a follow-up mission later in the year. This will see the landing of more commercial payloads and also collection of samples of lunar soil for NASA.
A different mission may see it send instruments for scientific research to the moon to NASA in 2025, as part of the space agency’s plans to explore the moon’s surface under the Artemis program.
The Tokyo-based iSpace was established in 2010 and became famous around five years ago when it made the finals of Google’s Lunar X Prize, a competition that sought to encourage entrants to become the first private company to send a robot to the moon.