ispace wants to stake its claim to the moon with November launch • TechCrunch


Tokyo-based startup ispace’s ambitions will soon be put to the test, as the company prepares for its first launch at the end of this month.

The startup will attempt to send its “Hakuto-R” lander to the lunar surface, starting an ambitious lunar exploration program of the same name. Founded in 2010, ispace is one of many startups that want to foster new markets on and around the Moon; On his website, he describes his goal as “a gateway for private sector companies to bring their business to the moon.”

Being a delivery partner for the middle and last tilt of the Moon can be a profitable affair, given the growing interest from both government space agencies and private companies in lunar exploration. But there’s more than distant returns at stake in this first launch; Suggested recent reports This ispace is preparing to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange early this fiscal year.

While the company had previously targeted a November 9-15 launch window, ispace said Monday that it now aims to launch it no later than November 22. statement. Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of Ispace, confirmed that the probe had arrived at Cape Canaveral, Florida, via a cargo plane prior to launch.

ispace’s landing craft is loaded onto the cargo plane. Image credits: ispace

“This mission will be a historic mission not only for our company, but also for the development of the lunar lunar economy,” said Hakamada.

If all goes as planned, Hakuto-R will carry multiple payloads to the lunar surface. These include the 22-pound rovers for the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in the United Arab Emirates, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s lunar robot. Several other loads of commercial and governmental clients. After launch, the mission will be monitored from the company’s Mission Control Center in Tokyo.

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