Japan’s Ispace to Launch Second Moon Mission After Crash

(Bloomberg) -- Japanese space startup Ispace Inc. will reach for the moon again after its first attempt to land a rover on the lunar surface in April ended in failure.

The second mission will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as early as the northern hemisphere winter of 2024, the Tokyo-based company said Thursday.

“We may not have landed on the moon the first time, but the experience and data we gained are vital,” Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Hakamada told reporters.

The payload of the lander — named ‘Resilience’ — includes a water electrolyzer, a module for experimenting with food production, a deep space probe, a commemorative metal plate based on Japanese anime series Gundam and a micro-rover developed by Ispace.

The rover, which weighs around 5 kilograms (11 pounds) and stands 26 centimeters (10 inches) tall, will be equipped with a high-definition camera to capture images of the moon’s surface and a shovel to collect lunar rocks. The mission will contribute to NASA’s Artemis program — the US space agency’s plan to return astronauts to the moon.