Niterra, formerly known as NGK Spark Plugs, played a significant role in the HAKUTO-R mission to the moon, which aimed to land on the lunar surface today.
Despite an apparent setback as iSpace lost contact with the lander shortly after the expected landing today just after noon Eastern U.S. time, the mission represents a major milestone in space exploration and highlights the potential of Niterra’s groundbreaking technology.
Launched on Dec. 11, 2022, from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the HAKUTO-R Lunar Lander traveled 1.4 million kilometers into deep space before entering lunar orbit. Niterra, a corporate partner and commercial payload customer of the HAKUTO-R program, supplied the lander with its innovative solid-state battery, the first of its kind, to be tested on the moon’s surface.
Although the current status of the lander is uncertain, the mission has already showcased the capabilities of Niterra’s technology, proving that it can function in the challenging environment of space. The successful testing of the solid-state battery technology on the moon would further solidify Niterra’s position as a leading innovator in the industry.
The HAKUTO-R mission’s primary landing site was Atlas Crater, situated in the northeastern quadrant of the moon. This location met the technical specifications of the lander technology demonstration mission, the scientific exploration objectives for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) mission, and the mission requirements of other customers involved in the project.
The landing site selection was accomplished through collaboration with MBRSC and the Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (CRPG) in Nancy, France.
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