Private Japanese moon lander crashed after being confused by a crater

    The private Japanese moon lander Hakuto-R crashed in late April during its milestone landing attempt because its onboard altitude sensor got confused by the rim of a lunar crater.

    Representatives of Tokyo-based company ispace, which built the spacecraft, revealed that the unexpected terrain feature led the lander’s onboard computer to decide that its altitude measurement was wrong and rely instead on a calculation based on its expected altitude at that point in the mission. As a result, the computer was convinced the probe was lower than it actually was, which led to the crash on April 25. 

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