ispace’s lander and micro rover of Hakuto-R M2 on the lunar surface. Credits: ispace

HAKUTO-R M2: ispace Presents its New Lunar Mission

On November 16, 2023, ispace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada hosted the first kick-off event of Hakuto-R 's second mission

During the mission kick-off event, ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada presented Resilience, the Hakuto-R lander for Mission 2, highlighting all the improvements from Mission 1 learnings. ispace then unveiled the final design of the micro-rover, which will be delivered by the lander on the Moon’s surface.

A micro-rover to collect lunar regolith

The European branch of ispace, ispace EUROPE, has developed the new design of the Hakuto rover with co-funding from the Luxembourg Space Agency. A distant relative of the Google Lunar X Prize finalist, the wheeled robot measures 26 cm x 31.5 cm x 54 cm, with a weight of less than 5 Kg.

Its frame is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) to survive the launch solicitations while being lightweight, and it is equipped with a forward-mounted HD camera to capture images of the lunar surface.

The ispace’s micro rover for Hakuto-R M2, computer rendering. Credits: ispace.
The ispace’s micro rover for Hakuto-R M2, computer rendering. Credits: ispace.

The most interesting instrument of the micro-rover is a shovel developed by Epiroc AB and mounted on the front to collect a sample of lunar regolith. This activity is part of a contract issued by NASA to ispace EUROPE to acquire and purchase the regolith in the framework of the Artemis program.


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Mission 2: “Never Quit the Lunar Quest”

The motto of ispace is clear: nothing will stop them from reaching the Moon and establishing their business. Their intent was evident even after the partial success of Mission 1, which data and learnings have been used to improve the already planned Mission 2.

ispace engineers assembling the lander RESILIENCE at a JAXA facility in Tsukuba, Japan. Credits: ispace
ispace engineers assembling the lander RESILIENCE at a JAXA facility in Tsukuba, Japan. Credits: ispace

Like its predecessor, the new lander will host several scientific instruments from private and public customers (see also Hakuto-R M2, ispace new tentative to tame the insidious Moon). It will bring to the Moon the special alloy plate Gundam Open Innovation Space Century Charter, developed by the Bandai Namco Research Institute and based on the design of the monument “Charter of the Universal Century” in the animation Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn).

Gundam Open Innovation Space Century Charter alloy. Credits: ispace, Bandai Namco
Gundam Open Innovation Space Century Charter alloy. Credits: ispace, Bandai Namco

The micro-rover will join its lunar mate in Japan during the summer of 2024 to start its integration. The current plan is to launch Hakuto-R on a Falcon 9 rocket just after some months, by the end of 2024.


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Giancarlo Albertinazzi

Giancarlo Albertinazzi

Space Ambassador, Terranaut, Future Spacepolitan, Writer of Becoming Spacepolitans Blog

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