HAKUTO’s lunar rover will be loaded into Astrobotic’s Griffin lunar lander and launched into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The lander will then travel about 380,000 kilometres to lunar orbit and achieve a soft landing on the moon at Lacus Mortis before disembarking HAKUTO’s rover.
Organised by XPRIZE and sponsored by Google,
the world’s first race to explore the surface of the moon brings together 16 teams representing more than
10 countries to compete for prizes worth a total of US$30 million.
The race’s ultimate objective is to lower the cost of space-based business, foster the development of
new technologies, and spur innovation in the aerospace industry through private-sector competition.
Participating teams must complete the mission by the end of 2017.
The rover will travel at least 500 metres while avoiding craters and rocks in the harsh environment of the lunar surface, where temperatures soar above 100°C during the day, then plunge below -150°C at night.
The rover will film 360° footage of scenery with its HD camera and send a “Mooncast” package of high-definition video and images back to Earth.