May 18, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Chinese and Japanese Scientists Claim Space Equipment Disappeared on the Moon

As the dominant feature of our night sky and sporting a surface reflection that reminds us of our own faces, humans have long believed or at least hoped that the Moon is inhabited by other beings who might visit us or welcome us to their home. The same is true of Mars, the reddest dot in the night sky. As space travel finally began in the late 1950s, we have been frustrated in our search for signs of current life on the lunar surface or the Martian landscape, and excuses have been made that it lives deep underground, on the opposite side (of the Moon), in the shade of craters or other areas that hide not only their physical presence but all evidence of their existence. Now, scientists from Japan and China have noticed something unusual about their lunar and Martian space equipment, and true believers in life on the Moon and Mars think this could be the holy grail of evidence they’ve been looking for. Whatever is causing these anomalies, it is a mystery that is baffling space scientists and the interested public.

It was here a minute ago.

“The HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander was scheduled to touchdown on the surface of the Moon at approximately 1:40 a.m. JST. As of 8:00 a.m. JST, April 26, 2023, the communication between the lander and the Mission Control Center was lost, although it was expected even after the touchdown, and it has been determined that Success 9 of the Mission Milestones is not achievable.” (statement from ispace)

On December 11, 2022, the Hakuto-R Mission 1 from the private Japanese space company ispace was successfully launched onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. After traveling 870,000 miles – farther than any privately-funded spacecraft, it attempted to land on April 25, 2023, in the Lacus Somniorum plain. Communication with Hakuto-R Mission 1 was lost permanently during the final descent to the lunar surface and the spacecraft was believed to have been destroyed in a hard crash on the lunar surface. Or was it?

“Some researchers express conspiracy theories that the cause may be not only natural conditions, but also human actions. They believe that the disappearance of space equipment could be due to deliberate actions by other countries. Others believe that there were representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations on our satellite, who allegedly did not like the neighborhood with terrestrial technology.”

The website expresses the sentiments of two groups outside of the scientific community. While an accident is certainly plausible, many in the military as well as conspiracy theorists point to the secret missions of space programs in the U.S., Russia, China and now some smaller countries as evidence that sabotage of flights and the possible stealing of crash remains is indeed a possibility. The other sentiment is the possibility that an alien presence on the Moon is protecting its own secret existence by sabotage and retrieval – possibly for analysis, possibly for protection. The Hakuto-R Mission 1 is not the only one that suffered a mysterious disappearance recently.

"We have not had any communication from the rover since it entered hibernation. We are monitoring it every day and believe it has not woken up because the sunlight has not yet reached the minimum level for power generation."

Fox News reported that Zhang Rongqiao, the chief designer of China’s Mars exploration program, is concerned about its non-functioning Zhurong rover, part of its Tianwen-1 mission which was launched on July 23, 2020,  landed on Mars on May 14, 2021, and has been operating ever since. A NASA probe was able to locate the dead rover and NASA’s experience with its own Martian rovers and landers suggests Zhurong is covered with Martian dust and its solar panels are unable to get enough rays to recharge its batteries and return to operation. However, it is puzzling that the Chinese rover stopped functioning after 358 days, while NASA's Perseverance and Curiosity rovers are still roaming the Martian surface for more than two years and over ten years respectively. Is the Zhurong rover dead due to dust … or could it be something else? Does Mars have a presence that doesn’t want to be detected? Or a saboteur?

Those who support the sabotage conspiracy theories look at the experiences of two minor players in space travel – India and Israel – for more validation. On September 7, 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lost all communications with its Vikram lunar lander in the final phase of its descent to the lunar surface. It took until late November of 2019 for ISRO to finally admit the spacecraft was lost when it likely crashed on the lunar surface. The space agency’s long reluctance to admit it had lost the lander and had no idea why it failed are fodder for conspiracy theories involving sabotage and aliens. Those theories are supported by another mysterious lunar crash in 2019 – Israel’s Beresheet lunar lander built by the space nonprofit SpaceIL.

“We have a failure of the spacecraft. We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully.”

Israel Aerospace Industries general manager Opher Doron told CNBC that Beresheet – the Hebrew word for “genesis” – never made it to its own beginning on the lunar surface as it also crashed on final descent on April 11, 2019. While Israeli space and government officials put up a positive front, calling the mission a success even though the lander crashed, the officials again had little knowledge as to what caused the failure.

“In turn, representatives of China and Japan said they would conduct additional research to find out the reasons for the disappearance of space equipment. They say they will work to prevent similar incidents in the future and protect their space missions from potential threats.”

Is landing on the Moon so difficult - or is it something else?

Is it really that hard to successfully land a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon? Or is there something else happening that is disrupting equipment as it gets close … something that causes functioning equipment to suddenly stop all functions? Four space agencies have experienced these problems and one (and possibly more – the agencies are obviously reluctant to release news of these failures) has admitted its equipment has disappeared. It is easy to blame accidents for some of these incidents, but the knowledge base is growing and the successes should be as well. Keep an eye on NASA’s upcoming mission to send humans back to the Moon and SpaceX’s mission to send humans in an observational swing around it. Watch for unexplained or questionable delays.

Dmitry Rogozin, former head of Russia’s ROSCOSMOS space program, said recently in his strange statement that he doesn’t believe the U.S. really put humans on the Moon because they haven’t been able to do it again in over 50 years. Is it really budgets and other priorities … or is there something or someone preventing it? We may soon find out.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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