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The Impact Site of HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Moon Lander Observed by NASA’s LRO

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The HAKUTO-R Mission 1 moon landing site, as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on April 26, 2023, the day after the attempted landing. The scale bar is 100 μm wide. LROC NAC M1437131607R’s photo. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

The ispace HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander, launched on December 11, 2022, is a privately funded spacecraft that plans to land on the moon. After a multi-month trip to the Moon, the spacecraft began a controlled descent to the surface to land near Crater Atlas. The ispace team announced the next day that an anomaly had occurred, and the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander did not land safely on the surface.

On April 26, 2023, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft captured 10 pictures around the landing site with its narrow angle cameras. The images covered an area of ​​about 40 km by 45 km (about 25 miles by 28 miles). Using an image obtained prior to the attempted landing, the LRO Camera science team began searching for the lander.

  • NASA's LRO displays the impact site of the HAKUTO-R 1 moon landing mission

    Narrow-angle camera LROC mosaic of the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar probe site made from the following image pairs: M1437138630L/R, 1437131607L/R, M1437124584L/R, 1437117561L/R, M1437110537L/R. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/University Arizona

  • NASA's LRO displays the impact site of the HAKUTO-R 1 moon landing mission

    The image ratio was generated by dividing the following (M1437131607R) and before (M192675639R) images. The impact created a higher reflection zone, about 60-80 meters across. The scale bar at the bottom right is 50 μm wide. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

From the time-lapse pair of images, the LRO Camera team identified an unusual surface change near the nominal drop site. The image shows at least four prominent pieces of debris and many small changes (47.581°N latitude, 44.094°E longitude). The central feature in the image above shows several bright pixels at the top left and several dark pixels at the bottom right. This is the opposite of nearby rocks, indicating that this may be a small crater or various parts of the rover’s body. This site will be analyzed further over the coming months as LRO will have the opportunity to make additional observations of the site under different lighting conditions and viewing angles.







Before (M192675639R) and after (M1437131607R) impact site comparison. Arrow A indicates a prominent surface change with a higher reflectance at the top left and a lower reflectance at the bottom right (versus the near surface rocks along the right side of the frame). Arrows B, C and D indicate further changes around the impact site. The scale bar at the bottom right is 50 μm wide. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

the quote: NASA’s LRO displays the impact site of the HAKUTO-R 1 lunar landing mission (2023, May 24), retrieved May 24, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-nasa-lro-views- impact-site. html

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