SpaceX launches first private lander on Moon

11 December 2022
2022-12-11 16:07

A Tokyo company aimed for the moon with its own private lander Sunday, blasting off atop a SpaceX rocket with the United Arab Emirates’ first lunar rover and a toy like robot from Japan that’s designed to roll around up there in the gray dust. It will take nearly five months for the lander and its experiments to reach the moon.

The company ispace designed its craft to use minimal fuel, to save money and leave more room for cargo.  The ispace lander will aim for Atlas crater in the northeastern section of the moon’s near side, more than 50 miles across and just over 1 mile deep. 

With its four legs extended, the lander is more than 7 feet tall.  With a science satellite already around Mars, the UAE wants to explore the moon, too. Its rover, named Rashid after Dubai’s royal family, weighs just 22 pounds and will operate on the surface for about 10 days.

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