Japan scraps Lunar-A?

Lunar-A in orbit around the Moon. Credits: JAXA

Space.com reports that the JAXA has recomended to cancel the launch of the Lunar-A mission, which would have been the first Japanese Lunar lander mission.

Lunar-A is a Lunar seismology mission, planned since the early 1990's. It consists of a mothership and two impact probes. The mothership was completed in 1996, but the impact probes have proven difficult to finish and therefore the mission has been delayed several times since 1995.

It is believed that JAXA has decided to cancel the mission due to the high cost associated with the refurbishment of the mothership. The probes will be finished, and the technology offered to other countries, reports space.com. A final decission on the future of Lunar-A will be taken within the next month.