Lunar spacecraft likely fell 3 miles before crashing into moon in historic landing attempt

A model of the Hakuto-R lunar lander built by Ispace is shown in late April at a Tokyo venue.

(CNN) — A lunar lander likely plummeted 3 miles before smashing into the lunar surface after a historic attempt to make a soft touchdown on the moon, the Japanese company Ispace revealed Friday.

The misstep can probably be traced to a software issue and an incorrect measurement of the spacecraft’s altitude as it attempted to find its footing on the moon, the company said.