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SpaceX to launch a private lunar lander; says mission seeks to examine the moon’s surface in order to find water ice deposits

A private Japanese lander will be sent into space by SpaceX using a Falcon 9 rocket over the course of this weekend, from Saturday, December 11 to Sunday, December 12. Below are the instructions on how to watch the launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida livestreamed.

Around an hour after launch, the ispace HAKUTO-R Mission 1 will be released from the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 will be carrying this mission. The lander will continue on its voyage to the moon, which will take several months, and is expected to land there in April 2023. It is intended to develop a commercial lunar lander that can send both personal and official cargo to the moon. This time, as part of the UAE’s maiden lunar mission, the lander will be carrying the Rashid rover from the country of the United Arab Emirates.

The same rocket that SpaceX uses to send payloads into orbit around the Earth will be used for this mission, but the HAKUTO-R spacecraft will continue to move away from the Earth and toward the moon instead of establishing an orbit.

The Falcon 9 rocket will also be carrying a tiny NASA spacecraft called the Lunar Flashlight that will orbit the moon in addition to HAKUTO-R. This mission seeks to examine the moon’s surface in order to find water ice deposits near the moon’s south pole, which could be a valuable resource for future human explorers.

Ways to view the launch

The whole launch, including the last-minute preparations prior to liftoff, liftoff itself, the catching of the first stage rocket, and payload separation, will be televised live by SpaceX. Approximately 15 minutes prior to the launch window opening at 2:38 a.m. ET on Sunday, December 11 (11:38 p.m. PT on Saturday, December 10), coverage will start. There is a second launch option early on Monday, December 12 if there are any problems with the first, such as bad weather.

Grace Owell

Written by Grace Owell

Grace Owell is an expert freelance writer from Texas, United States of America. Her expertise measures solely on personal finance and health articles. She currently writes for

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