Ispace to Explore the Moon in 2020 and 2021

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There’s a Japanese company that wants to explore the Moon. So they bought a room on not one, but two upcoming flights of Falcon 9 because they want to transport spacecraft to the Moon. These two missions are to happen in 2020 and 2021, and they are meant to show demonstrations for the company, which is called ispace. Ispace wants to become a lunar delivery service in the future.

Their goal is to put a spacecraft into the orbit, somewhere around the Moon. If this thing works out, then the company will go on its second mission, the one that will include a lunar lander and rovers that are meant to explore the surface of the Moon. Ispace’s hardware will ride as secondary payloads on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 flights. So this means that they will catch rides on the larger vehicles that are going to space and will then deploy separately. The rockets will let the spacecraft above the Earth, in a high orbit, and the vehicles will then find their way to the Moon.

The missions are meant to be technology demonstrations

In a statement, the CEO and founder of ispace, who’s called Takeshi Hakamada, said that they have the same visions as SpaceX do, and they want to let humans live in space. Therefore, they’re happy to join the company in the first step of the journey.

This was ispace’s plan for a really long time. We’re talking years. The company managed the finalist team in the Google Lunar X Prize competition (that was worth of $30 million), that was meant to send the first private spacecraft to the Moon. For this competition, the team made a lunar rover, which they called HAKUTO (translation: white rabbit – we’re talking about Japanese folklore, which has something to do with a rabbit that’s living on the surface of the Moon).


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