SpaceX Falcon 9 heads to Moon with Japanese lander, UAE rover

TEHRAN, Dec. 11 (MNA) – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with a payload including two lunar rovers from Japan and the United Arab Emirates, lifts off from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Sunday.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 2:38 a.m. Eastern. The rocket’s first stage, making its fifth flight, landed at the company’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral about eight minutes after liftoff.

Also on the launch was Lunar Flashlight, a cubesat developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, that separated from the Falcon 9 upper stage about six minutes after HAKUTO-R M1.

The 6U cubesat will go into a highly elliptical orbit that will take it within 15 kilometers of the surface over the south pole, allowing it shine lasers into the craters there to look for evidence of water ice.

The launch, previously scheduled for late November, slipped by nearly two weeks because of unspecified issues with the Falcon 9. The previous Falcon 9 launch, of 40 OneWeb satellites Dec. 8, also suffered delays, although it’s unclear if they are related.


News Code 194774


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