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HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander site, as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on April 26, 2023

The Japanese ispace HAKUTO-R Mission 1 was a privately funded spacecraft planned to land on the lunar surface. The spacecraft was launched in December 2022, and after a several-month journey to the Moon, the spacecraft started a controlled descent to the surface to land near Atlas crater on 25 April 2023.

The ispace team announced the following day that an anomaly occurred, and the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander had not safely touched down on the surface.

On 26 April, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft acquired 10 images around the landing site with its Narrow Angle Cameras. The images showed features that are very likely the remains of the lander.

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