The lander of the “White Rabbit-R” 1 mission of the lunar surface exploration project of the Japanese private enterprise “i Space” was successfully launched on the 11th by a US launch vehicle.
The press release issued by “i Space Company” on the same day stated that the company’s lunar lander was launched by the “Falcon 9” rocket of the US Space Exploration Technologies Corporation at 2:38 U.S. Eastern Time (16:38 Japanese Time) on the 11th. Launch from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, Florida. After the lander separated from the rocket, the ground control room established communication with the lander.
The communique stated that the launch and the successful separation of the lander and the rocket marked the successful completion of the second phase of the “White Rabbit-R” 1 mission. This proves that the structure of the lander can withstand the harsh conditions during launch, and the rationality of the design has been confirmed. Next, it will ensure its stable attitude and stable power supply. The lander is expected to touch down on the moon in late April 2023.
The lunar lander carries a total of 7 payloads, including the lunar surface exploration vehicle “Rashid” of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in the United Arab Emirates, the deformable lunar surface robot of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the “Canadian Space Agency” The artificial intelligence flight computer of the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program, etc.
Japan has never landed a probe on the moon. Japan’s first lunar probe “Hoker” failed to establish communication with the ground after it was launched on November 16, giving up the implementation of the lunar exploration mission.