Race to be the Fourth Country to Successfully Land on the Moon

The USA, Russia and China have successfully landed people or robotic missions on the moon and India and Israel have recently tried and failed.

Who are the countries are likely to be the fourth country to successfully land on the moon?

Israel and India will try again.

Japan seems likely to be fourth. Germany is still a competitor and its project is now financially more stable.

Japanese company iSpace will try to land the Hakuto-R lander in 2021. It will be flown on a Falcon 9. it will be a lander technology demonstration. Hakuto-R Mission 1 will include a lunar lander that is now scheduled for launch aboard a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket in October 2021. Hakuto-R Mission 2, a lunar lander and rover, is scheduled for launch in March 2023.

The Berlin-based Zeitfracht Group invested in the first German lunar mission and has acquired the space start-up PTS. The company, formerly known under the name PTScientists, was renamed Planetary Transportation Systems as part of the acquisition. PTS is the only company in Europe with a lunar landing device in an advanced stage of development.

With the takeover of PTS by Zeitfracht Group, both the German site of PTS and the jobs of the approximately 60 employees, including a large proportion of highly qualified engineers and scientists, will be retained. Research and development work of the first European lunar landing mission will also continue without delay.

Zeitfracht Group is an owner-managed family business in the third generation with more than 3,000 employees and headquarters in Berlin and Leipzig.

The estimate is that the German effort might land in 2022-2025.

14 thoughts on “Race to be the Fourth Country to Successfully Land on the Moon”

  1. They’re not saying they never wanted to go there. Nor are they saying that getting there wasn’t difficult, or isn’t challenging in general. But they have succeeded with a large part of the challenge, which is designing and building the craft, performing all the maneuvers, and actually getting to the Moon with the right orbital parameters. You think landing is the only difficult part?

    If all they have left is a small bug and a landing procedure they’re reasonably confident about, then that really isn’t challenging enough – for them, now that they’ve already done 90% of the hard stuff.

    If it was Elon Musk failing his barge propulsive landing for the nth time, and he said he was reasonably confident he was going to nail it the next time, so he wants to go a step further and try landing back at the launch site, and try recovering the fairings while he’s at it, you’d all be cheering. A bit of a double standard there (though granted, Elon has a longer track record).

  2. I know that I did not develop the car I drive.

    As a result, I do NOT go around saying that developing a car isn’t a challenge for me and I will do something even more advanced (to be specified later).

  3. You developed the car you drive?
    The vital thing is putting more hardware there. I honestly doubt anyone else right now matches SpaceX’s rates per pound. Maybe ISRO, but they aren’t developing reusable systems, or not so far along. I’m pretty happy to have any business bank on SpaceX to put their hardware in orbit.

    Yeah, not wise, in this field, to say such things aren’t a challenge. However, if they’re confident they’ve worked out the bug, you go SpaceIL. The more the merrier.

  4. …i.e. They failed and are acting like a child. “We didn’t fail, we didn’t even want to go there. We could do it easily if we wanted.” They didn’t even develop a launcher, just bought someone else’s.

  5. So what? Fifty years ago something happened for no good reason, never to be repeated for the very lack of a good reason. A mongrel dog went to space before man – all hail the dog then? No, the mongrel was #2. The #1 was a machine, and really got things going – it is timeless, and anyone can relate to that, that is why landings and other meaningful non-human achievements are remembered, while meaningless are constantly reminded, always half a step from oblivion. No one really cares, not for a very long time now. People care much more for a machine sending photos from Pluto, then what some men did in a lifetime ago for the wrong reasons. People care much more about the barely flying one-shot water tank. That is the big difference.

    p.s. Behold, 4 years ahead of humans in space, and still laikable, but oblivion nonetheless. Not timeless enough.

  6. Israel’s SpaceIL has recently indicated that they don’t see landing on the moon as a challenge any longer and their next vehicle will take a step further without disclosing more information.

  7. Yet we have robots doing far harder and complex work than needed on Moon all over the rest of the Solar system. Those are good, but the Moon has promise for helping the Earth directly.

  8. The opener should read, “United States landed men on the moon, the other two put technology on the moon.” That’s a big difference, and the U.S.A. is singular in this achievement. NO other country has done it since  July 16, 1969. The U.S. put 12 men on the moon.

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