Dubai: The Japanese company that sent a lander carrying the UAE’s Rashid Rover to the Moon lost contact with the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander post the planned landing time on Tuesday night.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai tweeted: “ispace has updated that they have lost communication with the HAKUTO-R lander and have not been able to confirm a successful landing. Their engineers are continuing to investigate the situation and will update once they finish investigation.”
The mission control centre announced that it continues to investigate on the lander communication, it added.
The announcement from ispace during its live broadcast came around half an hour after the Moon landing time at 8.40pm in the UAE as the mission control in Tokyo could not secure contact with the lander.
"Currently, we have not confirmed the communication from the lander,” founder and CEO of ispace Takeshi Hakamada said.
He said the company had already confirmed that it had established with the lander at the very end of the landing. “However, now we have lost communication.”
He added that the engineers at the mission control centre would continue to investigate the status of the lander. “At this moment, what I can tell is...we are very proud of the fact that we have already achieved many things during this mission…We will keep going and never quit,” he added.
However, Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre (MBRSC), the agency behind the Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM), had explained the challenges that lie ahead for the Rashid Rover during the landing attempt.
The Centre had listed lander derailing from its trajectory, communication loss, harsh landing due to environmental changes or lander faults as well as surface threats like craters and boulders as the major challenges.
The success rate of lunar missions is only 50 per cent. Only the US, the former Soviet Union, and China have successfully made soft lunar landing attempts. Both India and Israel had made hard landings on the moon, causing the landers to crash.