Japan's moon transportation startup ispace delays NASA-partnered mission to 2026
Japan's lunar transport startup ispace inc said on Thursday it would postpone a future moon landing mission by a year to 2026 to better prepare for a commission by U.S. agency NASA, as well as deal with component supply delays.
Tokyo-based ispace attempted its first lunar landing with the Hakuto-R Mission 1 spacecraft in April, which failed due to an altitude miscalculation. The Financial Times had reported earlier this month that months of corporate turmoil preceded the mission's failure.
Speaking after the delay was announced, Chief Executive Takeshi Hakamada told a media briefing that the scientific equipment NASA has commissioned ispace to carry to the moon turned out to require a higher vibration absorption standard. He did not elaborate.
The U.S. unit of ispace, which has partnered with spacecraft software developer Draper to build lunar landers, has also encountered procurement delays for some parts, Hakamada said.