XPRIZE clears Japanese mission to the moon

Team Hakuto rovers
Japan’s Team Hakuto is testing two small rovers known as Tetris (left foreground) and Moonraker (right background). The rovers would ride along with Team Indus’ spacecraft. (Team Hakuto Photo)

The rocketeers on Japan’s Team Hakuto say they’ve gotten the Google Lunar XPRIZE’s seal of approval on its plans for a mission to the moon.

The XPRIZE verification of Team Hakuto’s launch agreement with India’s Team Indus boosts the number of approved competitors to five. That includes Team Indus as well as Moon Express, Synergy Moon and SpaceIL.

“The Google Lunar XPRIZE has always pushed us beyond our limits” Takeshi Hakamada, Team Hakuto’s leader, said in today’s news release. “We will continue to challenge ourselves next year and choose an optimal path to reach the moon.”

Team Hakuto is run by a Tokyo-based startup called ispace, and draws upon expertise from faculty and students at Tohoku University.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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