Space: A Japanese company launches its delivery service on the moon

Space: A Japanese company launches its delivery service on the moon

On December 11, the SpaceX rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral. On board, a Japanese lander capable of transporting equipment to the lunar surface at low cost.

Since then many people have not shown interest in it Apollo project. 50 years later, the moon Attention is again at the center of many space programs, such as the recent successful US mission Artemis. Besides the US, China and Russia are working on future colonization with hopes of establishing our satellite. A livable village.

But how do you build buildings if you can’t get materials there? That’s where Japanese company iSpace comes in, thanks to sending its first lander into space. SpaceX rocket, on December 11 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The capsule, no bigger than a refrigerator, is capable of carrying a variety of resources for direct placement on the lunar surface.

“Low cost” flight

The machine called “HAKUTO-R” required 200 employees, 5 years of work and support from the Google Lunar Express Science Program. Among the main challenges: achieving a damage-free lunar landing and designing a capsule where electronics take up minimal space to maximize storage space intended for equipment delivery.

Another problem: sending such an object to our natural satellite costs a lot of money, especially in fuel. To stay competitive, iSpace engineers envisioned A long journey, energy efficiency. The Hakuto-R uses Earth’s gravity and then the Sun’s gravity to slowly move towards its target. A detour of 1.6 million kilometers will allow a landing by the end of April if all goes well. Only then will the Tokyo-based crew fire the capsule’s engines into the ground.

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Commercial success of space

If the task is new, so is the nature of iSpace. So far all lunar missions have been publicly funded through space programs. At the moment, it is a private company that is pooling resources and wants to build a very profitable business. For this first foray, the Japanese company already has several customers. Amidst its 30 kg payload, it will deposit two probe rovers belonging to two different space agencies. Another Japanese team sent test batteries to test under extreme conditions. Finally, the NASA He asked iSpace to bring some rock samples for research. Hakuto-R will stay on the moon for 10 days before returning. Americans who are very interested in this delivery service have already signed new contracts to renew the experience in 2024 and 2025.

Another interest in this mission is that one of the robots to be delivered to the moon was designed by the United Arab Emirates (equipped with French cameras). A first for a federal state in the Arabian Peninsula, it is starting to see the stars. The first Arab astronaut took a place on boardISS A probe was placed into orbit in 2019 March Last year. A second lunar rover is planned to be launched in two years, with the aim of establishing the first Martian colony in Amir’s name by 2117.

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