The spacecraft appeared to have landed on the Moon, but the space agency were unable to immediately confirm if it had done so safely. abruptly ending the live coverage.
A press conference is scheduled to begin at 02:10am JST.
Japan hoped to make the world’s first “pinpoint landing” on the moon early Saturday (20 January), joining a modern push for lunar contact with roots in the Cold War-era space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Japan’s attempt to bring down its lander at a precise location followed the April failure of a Japanese company’s spacecraft that apparently crashed while attempting to land on the moon.
As Japan and others look to enter a club so far occupied by only the United States, the Soviet Union, India and China, victory means international scientific and diplomatic accolades and potential domestic political gains.