Madrid, 23 years old (Europe Press)
Launched on December 11, 2022, this ispace lunar lander is a privately funded spacecraft that has planned 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 on April 26 that an anomaly had occurred and that the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander did not land safely on the surface.
On April 26, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft took 10 pictures around the landing site with its narrow-angle cameras. The images covered an area of approximately 40 km by 45 km. Using an image obtained prior to the attempted landing, the LRO camera science team began searching for the rover, NASA reports.
Four pieces of ruble
From the pair of temporary images, the LRO camera team identified an unusual surface change near the nominal landing site. The image shows at least four prominent pieces of debris and several small changes (47.581°N latitude, 44.094°E longitude).
The central feature in the image above shows several bright pixels in the upper left corner and many dark pixels in the lower right corner. This reversed nearby rocks, indicating that it may be a small crater or various parts of the rover’s body. This site will be analyzed further in the coming months as LRO will have the opportunity to make additional observations of the site under different lighting conditions and viewing angles.