Japan's Ispace lunar lander enters orbit

Japan's Ispace lunar lander enters orbit

Tokyo-based Ispace Inc. said Tuesday that its moon lander had entered orbit around the moon.

With a touchdown scheduled for the end of April, the space company s lander would become the world's first private sector lunar module to land on the moon.

In December the vehicle was launched aboard a U.S. rocket, followed by a special route to the moon to conserve fuel. In January, the lander flew to a position 1.37 million kilometers from Earth and then went toward the moon.

The module used jet propulsion to correct its orbit and then entered an elliptical orbit around the moon at an altitude between 100 and 600 kilometers on Tuesday.

The lander is expected to land and descend on a crater located in the northern hemisphere of the moon. The crater has a diameter of 87 kilometers.

Ispace sees business opportunities in segments such as lunar resource development and transporting goods. The company aims to test and develop relevant technologies through the latest launch.

The lander is loaded with various items, including an exploratory robot developed by toy maker Tomy Co. and a United Arab Emirates space rover.