Ibadan, 11 January 2023. – The HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lander, which was successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 11, 2022, completed its first orbit control maneuver on December 15, 2022. A second orbital control maneuver followed this on January 2, 2023.
As a result, ispace considers the completion of these operations as part of the mission plan, including multiple orbital control maneuvers over one month, highly significant. This is because it increases confidence in future Mission 1 flight operations and provides crucial data that will be incorporated into plans for Mission 2 and Mission 3.
As of January 11, 2023, the lander has traveled approximately 1.34 million kilometers from the Earth and will be at its farthest point of approximately 1.4 million km from the Earth by January 20, 2023. Once the lander reaches its most distant point from Earth, a third orbital control maneuver may occur, depending on its navigational status.
Since its launch on December 11, 2022, the lander has maintained stable navigation in accordance with the mission plan. Furthermore, the M1 lander will utilize gravitational forces to complete all deep space control maneuvers and prepare for an orbital insertion during the next navigation stage. Completing these maneuvers, which projections put at late March, will signify the achievement of Mission Milestone 6 for ispace. Subsequently, Success 7 of the Mission Milestones, the lunar orbit injection, will take place soon after.
The Company set 10 Milestones for Mission 1, ranging from launch to landing. As a result, ispace will weigh and evaluate the results against the criteria and incorporate them into future missions expected to launch by 2025.