Japanese space venture unveils design of new moon rover

A Japanese space venture says it plans to make a second attempt to land its unmanned probe on the moon in late 2024.

Tokyo-based ispace is aiming to make the world's first commercial lunar landing. Its first attempt in April failed.

On Thursday, the company unveiled a full-scale model of its new micro rover for the next mission, which it said is expected to take place "no earlier than Winter 2024."

The rover is about 30 centimeters wide, 30 centimeters tall, 50 centimeters long and weighs roughly 5 kilograms.
It is equipped with a camera to capture images of the lunar surface.

The company says the lightweight rover is designed to operate for up to 14 days. It says the wheels are shaped to allow for smooth navigation on the uneven surface of the moon.

The CEO of ispace, Hakamada Takeshi, says they failed to make a successful landing the first time but will use the knowledge and information obtained from the mission to thoroughly prepare for the next launch.

In recent years, there has been growing international competition in lunar exploration.

The Artemis program is a US-led international project that aims to send astronauts back to the moon.

In August, India successfully landed its unmanned spacecraft near the moon's south pole.

A Japanese probe called SLIM is scheduled to attempt a lunar landing in January or February next year.