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Japan's ispace announces failure of 1st private moon landing attempt

CEO says startup took 'big step forward' with data before landing collected

ispace Chief Executive Takeshi Hakamada said the Japanese startup took a big step forward to the next moon landing mission despite the touchdown failure at a press conference on April 26. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- Japanese startup ispace said on Wednesday that its attempt to make the first touchdown on the moon with a private probe had failed after it lost contact with its lunar lander. But the company stressed it had taken a "big step" toward eventual success.

"We do not anticipate a recovery in communications and have determined that it will be difficult to complete [the mission]," the company said. It is possible that the aircraft did not decelerate sufficiently as it tried to land, and crashed into the moon's surface, according to ispace.

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