TOKYO    -    Japan’s space agency on Tues­day said it has given up on a plan to land its Omotenashi space probe on the Moon’s surface.

The news comes following the ultra-small, unmanned lander failing to maintain stable com­munications with controllers on Earth, and as a result, it was un­able to correct its trajectory af­ter its launch last week, sources close to the matters said.

They explained that the prob­lem became known after the probe, regarded as being one of if not the world’s smallest lu­nar lander, lifted off atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week.

The unstable communication between the probe and its con­trollers affected the probe’s tra­jectory, as its solar panels were kept facing away from the sun, the Japan Aerospace Explora­tion Agency (JAXA) explained.

JAXA officials attempted to correct the craft’s trajec­tory prior to its passing by the Moon and reduce its speed in a failed bid to land the 12.6-ki­logram, box-shaped lander on the Moon’s surface at around 11:55 p.m. local time on Mon­day, the agency said.