Japan's ispace shows off a tiny moon lander for its 2nd moon mission in 2024

Artist's illustration of ispace's Series 2 robotic lander on the surface of the moon
Artist's illustration of ispace's Series 2 robotic lander on the surface of the moon (Image credit: ispace)

A Japanese private spaceflight company showed off its moon lander under construction for a new moon landing mission in 2024.

A new video by ispace showed off the Mission 2 lander that will host a micro rover for a launch in winter 2024, if all goes to plan.

"Our engineers have been working on the Resilience lunar lander's propulsion system, main body and electrical systems, among others," officials with ispace wrote on X, formerly Twitter.This will be ispace's second attempt at a moon landing following a navigation error that led to a crash on its first attempt in 2023.

Related: Private Japanese moon lander crashed after being confused by a crater

The new mission, should it get to the surface, will host a micro-rover. It is just 10.24 inches (26 centimeters) tall, 12.4 inches (31.5 cm) wide and 21.26 inches (54 cm) long, and has a mass of about 11 pounds (5 kilograms). It will also carry a high-definition camera near the front, to take images of moon dirt as it scoops samples.

See more

This will be ispace's second attempt at a moon landing following a navigation error that led to a crash on its first attempt in 2023.

The first lunar mission, the Hakuto-R lander, launched in December 2022 but crashed during its attempt in April. The onboard computer of the spacecraft miscalculated the altitude, causing a crash landing.

Mission 2 is quite close to the Hakuto-R lander, which had a mass of about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg). But the new mission has software and other adjustments based on what happened during Mission 1, ispace has said.

Resilience, the name for the lander, aligns with the company's motto of "Never Quit the Lunar Quest." Following Mission 2 will come Mission 3, which is scheduled for launch in 2026. That mission will use the Apex 1.0 lunar lander, a larger lander with a projected payload capacity of 1,100 pounds (500 kg).

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace