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Japan aims for lunar landing in 2021, set Moon rover deployment for 2023

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Japan aims for lunar landing in 2021, set Moon rover deployment for 2023

Japanese startup ispace has now adjusted timing for its Mars mission as it is now targeting 2021 for their first lunar landing, and 2023 for a second lunar mission that will also include deploying a rover on the Moon’s surface.

The company’s HAKUTO-R program was originally planned to include a mission in 2020 that would involve sending a lunar orbital vehicle for demonstration purposes without any payloads, but that part of the plan was scrapped in favor of focusing all efforts on delivering actual payloads for commercial customers by 2021 instead.

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This updated focus, the company said in a statement, was due mostly to the speeding up of the global market for private launch services and payload delivery, including for things like NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, wherein the agency is looking for a growing number of private contractors to support its own needs in terms of getting stuff to the Moon.

Report says, HAKUTO-R will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for its first missions, and the company has also signed partnerships with JAXA, Japan’s space agency, as well as new corporate partners including Suzuki, Sumitomo Corporation, Shogakukan and Citizen Watch ofr the proposed Mars mission.

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