Another day, another rocket launch by SpaceX, and another spacecraft going to the moon. All those seem commonplace these days.
SpaceX has already launched its Falcon 9 rocket more than 50 times this year. NASA's Artemis I, an uncrewed test flight that is a precursor to future astronaut missions, returned to Earth after orbiting the moon. CAPSTONE, a small NASA-sponsored CubeSat, is still orbiting the moon after being launched in June. A robotic South Korean orbiter, Danuri, was launched to the moon in August.
But the lunar lander that was carried by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Sunday is not a NASA mission. Instead, known as M1, it is from a small Japanese company, Ispace. The payloads on M1 include a rover from the United Arab Emirates and a small two-wheeled Transformers-like robot for the Japanese space agency.
From The New York Times
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