A lunar lander built and operated by ispace, a Japanese startup, descended to the surface of the moon today after a months-long journey — but went out of contact and was presumed lost.
“We have to assume that we could not complete the landing on the lunar surface,” ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada said during a webcast of the Hakuto-R mission’s final stages.
Ground controllers at the Hakuto-R Mission Control Center in Tokyo continued trying to re-establish communications nevertheless, and Hakamada said his company would try again.
“We are very proud of the fact that we have achieved many things during this Mission 1,” he said. “We will keep going. Never quit the lunar quest.”