Japanese new space startup ispace has revealed the final design of its HAKUTO-R lunar lander, a spacecraft set to make its first touchdown on the moon in 2022 if all goes to the updated plan (it had been set to fly in October 2021 until today). Ispace is part of a team led by Draper selected by NASA for its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver various payloads to the moon ahead of a NASA planned human mission to the lunar surface in 2024.
The lander is just a bit taller than a person, at around seven and a half feet tall (it’s basically that wide and long as well). The design includes a 4K color camera that will beam back images throughout the mission, as well as fuel tanks for holding its propellant, solar panels for power generation, landing gear, thrusters and payload compartments for holding up to 66 lbs of experiments and other materials.
Ispace also announced adjusted timing for its first lunar lander missions for HAKUTO-R, as mentioned. The first will now take place in 2022, using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and carrying commercial payloads, including equipment for conducting scientific experiments. The second is now set for 2023, and will carry a small rover that will survey the moon and pave the way for potential long-term commercial investment on the lunar surface.