(Bloomberg) -- Tokyo-based Ispace Inc.’s shares slumped for the third straight day after the failure of its moon lander, erasing about $600 million, or almost half, of the company’s value.

The stock slid as much as 16% on Friday after falling by the daily limit on both Wednesday and Thursday. Earlier this week, the company lost contact with its lander bound for the moon and said it probably crashed on the lunar surface. 

The stock’s plunge is a reversal from a rally that had lifted the startup to a valuation of as much as $1.3 billion days after its initial public offering earlier this month.

Japan’s Ispace Says Its Lander Probably Crashed on the Moon

Ispace launched its Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander in December carrying multiple payloads with an ambition to become the first to place a commercial spacecraft on the moon’s surface. But the touchdown failed to take place early Wednesday morning Japan time as scheduled. Ispace said there was a high probability that the spacecraft made a “hard landing” on the moon. 

The company’s engineers confirmed that the lander was in a vertical position in the final approach to the lunar surface before losing contact. The lander accelerated rapidly in the last moments of its descent, engineers said.

“The lander may not have completed the final step, but we’re the first private company to collect data from an attempted lunar landing,” Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Hakamada said. That data will help preparations for future missions, he said.

Ispace has partnered with US-based Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, which holds a $73 million contract with NASA to deliver a suite of the agency’s payloads to the moon in 2025, a small part of NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon.

The United Arab Emirate’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, which had sent its rover on Ispace’s Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, praised the Japanese startup’s efforts. “While the Rashid Rover and other payloads onboard the lander did not get the chance to continue on their respective missions, the team at MBRSC is still proud of the achievements,” the center said in a statement published on Twitter. 

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