… at 2:38 AM ET December 11th 2022 from Cape Canaveral Florida SLC-40.

Hakuto-R M1 is a technology demonstration mission one and has survived the rigors of launch plus separation from the 2nd stage including deployment by SpaceX and is in communication with ispace headquarters in Japan for completion of two out of the 10 major milestones planned for this important mission.

Also on board is a lunar Rashid rover from Dubai UAE and the NASA Lunar Flashlight cubesat which will search for ice on the south pole of the moon.

Hakuto means “white rabbit” which comes from Japan’s folklore of a white rabbit that lives on the moon. The primary landing site for Hakuto-R M1 is the Atlas crater in the northeast side of the moon hopefully in April 2023.

This is now the 54th launch for SpaceX in 2022 a new record from both California and Florida launch pads. First stage booster B-1073-5 successfully landed at LZ-2 at Cape Canaveral approximately eight minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff.

SpaceX.com/launches now has 194 total launches by SpaceX, 155 total landings and 129 total re-flights of the Falcon 9 first stage boosters.

Summary and Photos by Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu and space-news.es