Skip to main content

How to watch the first privately funded moon landing on Tuesday

ispace HAKUTO-R Mission 1: Landing Live Stream

Update: 2:20 p.m. ET April 25: Ispace says it’s apparently lost contact with the spacecraft. It said the Hakuto-R Series 1 lander was to touch down at 1:40 a.m. JST (April 26), but “at this time, Hakuto-R Mission Control Center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, has not been able to confirm the success of the Lunar Lander.”

The release continued: Ispace engineers and mission operations specialists in the Mission Control Center are currently working to confirm the current status of the lander.”

Ispace said id would announce further information once it’s available.


An attempt at the first privately funded lunar landing is about to take place, and you can watch a live stream of the effort on Tuesday.

Japan’s ispace launched its Hakuto-R Series 1 lander to the moon aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December, and since then it’s been heading for insertion into a lunar orbit, which it achieved on March 21.

“During the sequence, the lander will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit,” ispace said on its website. “Utilizing a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its attitude and reduce velocity in order to make a soft landing on the lunar surface. The process will take approximately one hour.”

The landing sequence for iSpace's Hakuto-R mission.

The privately built Hakuto-R Series 1 lander is carrying two small moon rovers: the Sora-Q for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Rashid, built by the United Arab Emirates space agency.

While the Sora-Q and the Rashid will spend time examining the geological properties of the lunar surface, the mission is primarily a test event aimed at proving ispace’s ability to successfully land a payload on the lunar surface.

Doing so will secure ispace membership in an elite club that includes only the U.S., China, and the former Soviet Union.

Two other nations — India and Israel — have also attempted to land on the moon in separate missions in 2019, but both efforts failed. India is preparing to try again in a couple of months’ time.

How to watch

ispace will attempt to land its payload at 9:40 p.m. PT on Tuesday, April 25 (1:40 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26, Tokyo time).

A live stream will begin at 8:20 a.m. PT. You can watch it via the player embedded at the top of this page, or by heading to ispace’s YouTube channel, which will show the same footage.

A successful landing this week by ispace will set it up nicely for a second mission next year that will involve landing more commercial payloads while also gathering a lunar soil sample for NASA.

Another mission could see it send scientific instruments to the moon for NASA in 2025 as part of the space agency’s plan for renewed exploration of the lunar surface in the Artemis program.

Tokyo-based ispace was founded in 2010 and gained prominence around five years ago after making the finals of the Google-sponsored Lunar X Prize, a contest that encouraged entrants to become the first private team to put a robot on the moon.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Watch the moment when India achieves historic moon landing
The moon.

India has made history by becoming the first nation to land near the lunar South Pole -- and only the fourth country to perform a successful soft landing on the moon.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved the feat in the early evening local time on Wednesday after its Vikram lander module touched down on the lunar surface as planned. Engineers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are now checking that Vikram's systems are in good working order.

Read more
How to watch India attempt to join exclusive moon-landing club
space based solar power earths moon nearside

Chandrayaan-3 Mission Soft-landing LIVE Telecast

India is about to make a bold attempt to land a module on the moon.

Read more
With its moon lander, India hopes to succeed where Russia just failed
The Indian Space Research Organization's lunar lander for the Chanrayaan-3 mission.

India is just a couple of days away from attempting a historic soft landing on the moon, which, if successful, would see it join an elite club alongside the U.S., China, and the former Soviet Union.

This week’s attempted touchdown will come just a few days after Russia’s Luna-25 mission ended in failure when the spacecraft crashed onto the lunar surface in the country’s first moon mission since 1976.

Read more