The Mission 1 Lander performed the final orbital control maneuver in accordance with the mission operation plan, at 10:08 (JST), on April 13, 2023, under the direction of ispace engineers at the HAKUTO-R Mission Control Center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. After a controlled burn from the lander's main propulsion system lasting approximately 10 minutes, the maneuver was successfully completed.
On March 21, 2023, the lander was successfully inserted into lunar orbit, orbiting the Moon in an elliptical orbit with an altitude of about 100 km at the perigee (periapsis) and about 6,000 km at the apogee (apoapsis), followed by two orbit control maneuvers. The lander has now reached a 100 km circular orbit around the Moon.
At approximately 15:40 on April 25, 2023, (UTC), the lander is scheduled to begin the landing sequence from the 100 km altitude orbit. During the sequence, the lander will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit. Utilizing a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its attitude and reduce velocity in order to make a soft landing on the lunar surface. The process will take approximately one hour.
Should conditions change, there are three alternative landing sites and depending on the site, the landing date may change. Alternative landing dates, depending on the operational status, are April 26, May 1, and May 3, 2023.
Success 9, the next Mission 1 milestone, will be announced after a successful lunar landing is confirmed. Success 10, the last of the Mission 1 milestones, will be announced after confirmation that a steady telecommunications and power supply have been established after landing on the Moon.
A live-streaming broadcast from Tokyo is being planned for the landing day. More details will be announced once they become available.
For Mission 1, ispace has set 10 milestones between launch and landing, and aims to achieve the success criteria established for each of these milestones. Recognizing the possibility of an anomaly during the mission, the results will be weighed and evaluated against the criteria and incorporated into future missions already in development between now and 2025.
Mission 2 and Mission 3, which also will contribute to NASA's Artemis Program, will further improve the maturity of ispace's technology and business model. Future announcements on progress of milestone achievement are expected to be released once attained.
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