Watch: "Japan and UAE attempt historic Moon landing with Hakuto-R lander and Rashid rover"


Ispace and UAE's mission to join elite list of lunar landers. Will their mission be successful? Find out more here.


Hakuto-R lander and Rashid rover

The Japanese company Ispace and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are attempting to land the Hakuto-R lander on the Moon, carrying the Rashid rover developed by the UAE. If the mission is successful, Japan and the UAE will join an elite list of just three other countries that have landed on the lunar surface: the US, Russia, and China.

The 2.3-meter-tall M1 will begin an hour-long landing phase from its current position in the moon's orbit, some 100 km above the surface, moving at nearly 6,000 km/hour. After reaching the landing site at the edge of Mare Frigoris, in the moon's northern hemisphere, the M1 will deploy a two-wheeled, baseball-sized rover developed by JAXA, Japanese toymaker Tomy Co, and Sony Group, as well as the four-wheeled Rashid Rover.

Hakuto -R is the first privately developed mission 

Launched onboard the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket in December 2022, the Hakuto-R is the first privately developed mission to venture into the lunar world, marking the beginning of commercial missions to the Moon. The mission aims to show the viability of technology and systems in delivering cargo to the lunar surface. The Japanese company Ispace, founded in 2010, aims to provide commercial transportation to the Moon with a wider mission to ultimately incorporate the Moon into the Earth's economy.

The Rashid rover has been designed by Emirati scientists to demonstrate lunar surface transportation and mobility. The four-wheeled rover with differential gear can move at a top speed of 10 centimeters per second and climb an obstacle height of 10 centimeters with a slope of 20 degrees. The 10-kilogram rover is equipped with two cameras to ensure panoramic visibility of the rover's surroundings. The microscopic imager on Rashid will obtain the highest resolution image of the lunar surface to study the topmost layer of the lunar regolith.

 Hakuto-R lander to be land on Moon 

The rover will also study the plasma around the Moon to help understand how charged particles interact with the lunar surface. Scientists will also investigate the interaction of the rover's surface materials with solar radiation.

Success in this mission would mark a welcome reversal from the recent setbacks Japan has faced in space technology, where it has big ambitions of building a domestic industry, including a goal of sending Japanese astronauts to the Moon by the late 2020s. The successful demonstration of the viability of technology and systems for delivering cargo to the Moon could pave the way for future commercial missions and further exploration of the lunar surface.


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Watch: "Japan and UAE attempt historic Moon landing with Hakuto-R lander and Rashid rover"
Watch: "Japan and UAE attempt historic Moon landing with Hakuto-R lander and Rashid rover"
Ispace and UAE's mission to join elite list of lunar landers. Will their mission be successful? Find out more here.
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