Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry Selects ispace, inc. for Innovation Grant20 Oct, 2023Grant Worth Up to Approximately $80 Million for Lunar Infrastructure DevelopmentTOKYO – October 20, 2023 – ispace, inc. (ispace) announced today that it has been selected by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant worth up to approximately $80 million (12 billion Yen).The SBIR Project is a large-scale technology demonstration for startup companies in Japan conducting innovative research and development with the purpose of implementing these new technologies into society.ispace was selected by METI in Phase 3 of the SBIR for the “Development and Operational Demonstration of a Lunar Lander.” Under the terms of the grant, ispace will be expected to design, manufacture, and assemble a lunar lander with the capability of transporting a minimum payload of 100 kg to the Moon’s surface, then launch and operate the lander by 2027.ispace expects to use the grant to support the development of a newly designed lander for future missions. The Series 3 lander, to be designed and manufactured in Japan, will be the successor to the Series 1 lander, which was utilized for Mission 1 and is planned for Mission 2, and the APEX 1.0 lander (formerly the Series 2 lander) currently under development in the United States. The new lander is expected to be a large lander with the flexibility to respond to market demands for various lunar transportation and delivery needs.Follow the hyperlink for more information about Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry “Small Business Innovation Promotion.” (Selection Document)“I am very pleased that ispace has been recognized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry with the selection for the Small Business Innovation Research project grant,” said Takeshi Hakamada, Founder and CEO of ispace. “With the awarding of this grant, the Japanese government is taking key steps in policy and action towards increasing lunar exploration for the benefit of all of humanity. ispace will do everything we can to play a role in the efficient progress towards the creation of new business and industry opportunities on the Moon.”ispace is leveraging its global presence through its three business units in Japan, the U.S., and Luxembourg, for the simultaneous development of Mission 2, currently planned to be launched in 2024 and led by its Japanese office as well as Mission 3, currently planned to be launched in 2026 and led by its U.S. office.This press release contains U.S. Dollar amounts converted at an exchange rate of 147.73 JPY to 1 USD, using trailing twelve-month (TTM) averages as calculated by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in September.
Here’s a glimpse at the ongoing assembly of our Series 1 #lunar lander for #HAKUTO_R Mission 2! Pictured are parts of the propulsion system, and you can see the thruster nozzles are marked with colorful patterns caused by the extreme heat of thruster firing tests. (1/2)
Note: This is a repost to provide a more accurate description than the previous version. (2/2)
We will kick off our 2nd lunar exploration mission, currently scheduled for 2024, with exciting #HAKUTO_R Mission 2 updates on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 20:00 (EST) from our Mission Control Center in Tokyo!Use the live stream link below to watch in English.
Newsispace Announces Mission 2 with Unveiling of Micro Rover Design16 Nov, 2023Lunar Lander Flight Model Assembly on Schedule for Winter 2024 Launch TOKYO—November 16, 2023—ispace, inc., (ispace) a global lunar exploration company, today unveiled the final design of its micro rover, which will be transported to the surface of the Moon by its lunar lander as part of exploration activities during Mission 2.The design was revealed today by ispace Founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada, during a press conference held in Tokyo, Japan.“Continuous mission operations are essential to provide lunar transportation and data services, so I am pleased to announce the progress we have made on the Mission 2 lander flight model and the final design of the micro rover. In particular, I am proud of all the employees who have made this possible, who, in the short time since completing Mission 1 nearly six months ago, have incorporated the necessary improvements to advance this mission on schedule,” said Founder and CEO Hakamada. “I would also like to thank all of our HAKUTO-R partners who have stayed with us since Mission 1, our new partners, our shareholders, and all of you who have supported us in various ways. We continue to make the necessary preparations for the launch of Mission 2.”Mission 2Mission 2, part of the HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program, will serve as the company’s second technological demonstration, based on lessons learned from Mission 1, with the objective of further validating the lander’s design and technology, as well as ispace’s business model to provide reliable lunar transportation and data services.During Mission 2, ispace will conduct initial resource exploration activities, primarily with its micro rover, which is being designed, manufactured, and assembled by engineers in its ispace EUROPE office. The exploration activities will be an important advancement in achieving ispace’s goal and vision of establishing the cislunar economy.Mission 2 Micro RoverThe micro rover is designed to be 26 cm tall, 31.5 cm wide, 54 cm long, and will weigh approximately 5 kg. It will be stored in the payload bay at the top of the lander and will use a deployment mechanism to land on the Moon’s surface after touch down. It is designed to be lightweight with a frame made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) to withstand the rocket launch and other vibrations during transit to the lunar surface.The rover is equipped with a forward-mounted HD camera that can capture images on the lunar surface. The wheels are shaped in such a way so that the rover can traverse lunar regolith in a stable manner. Commands and data will be sent and received from the mission control center via the lander.The Mission 2 lunar exploration activities will also contribute to the NASA-led Artemis program. In December 2020, ispace EUROPE was selected by NASA to acquire regolith from the lunar surface to be purchased by the space agency. In furtherance of this effort, a shovel developed by Epiroc AB, a leading productivity and sustainability partner for the mining and infrastructure industries, and a corporate partner participating in the HAKUTO-R program, will be mounted on the front of the micro rover. Once on the lunar surface, operators plan to use the shovel to collect a sample of lunar regolith and photograph the collection with the camera mounted on the rover.The micro rover is being developed with co-funding from the Luxembourg Space Agency through a European Space Agency contract with the Luxembourg National Space Programme, LuxIMPULSE. Currently, an engineering model is being developed in Luxembourg. After completion of environmental tests on the engineering model, development of the flight model will begin. The rover is scheduled to be loaded onto the lander in Japan in the summer of 2024.Mission 2 Lunar Lander Development UpdateThe Mission 2 flight model will employ the same overall design as the Series 1 lander used during Mission 1, capitalizing its mission-proven performance. Based on the final analysis of the flight data from its HAKUTO-R Mission 1, improvements will be incorporated into the Mission 2 flight model to reflect necessary software validation, expansion of the landing simulation range, and additional field testing of landing sensors to further improve mission accuracy.ispace engineers have been assembling the flight model at JAXA’s facility in Tsukuba, Japan, since September 2023, for the purpose of completing final environmental testing prior to launch. Assembly of the flight model is expected to be completed by Spring 2024, followed by the final environmental tests. Mission 2 is expected to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than Winter 2024.ispace has chosen the name “RESILIENCE” for the Mission 2 lunar lander model. The name reflects the spirit of our motto to “Never Quit the Lunar Quest.” The name echoes ispace’s unwavering commitment to reboot and revive the lunar landing after Mission 1.Mission 2 PayloadsMission 2 will transport five payloads to the lunar surface.● Water electrolyzer equipment from Takasago Thermal Engineering Co., a HAKUTO-R corporate partner● A self-contained module for food production experiments from Euglena Co.● Deep space radiation probe developed by the Department of Space Science and Engineering, National Central University, Taiwan● A commemorative alloy plate modeled after the “Charter of the Universal Century”● A micro rover developed by ispace EuropeEPIROCDuring the event, Miriam Bergvall, Epiroc’s Global Manager for Acquisitions and Partnerships, spoke about the collaborative efforts between Epiroc, a leading productivity and sustainability partner for the mining and infrastructure industries, and ispace. Epiroc, headquartered in Sweden, and ispace recently signed the HAKUTO-R Corporate Partnership agreement that involves Epiroc and ispace working together on Mission 2 activities related to ispace’s collection of lunar regolith and transfer of ownership to NASA. As part of recently announced Long Term Collaboration Agreement, Epiroc developed a “regolith collection system” or shovel affixed to the micro rover that is planned be operated by ispace to collect lunar regolith during the mission. Efforts are ongoing to expand the partnership to support development of cutting edge in-situ resource utilization.HAKUTO-R New Supporting CompaniesChiyoda Corporation, Bandai Namco Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, and Kurita Water Industries Ltd. have agreed to join the HAKUTO-R program as new supporting companies.● Chiyoda Corporation, a global engineering company headquartered in Japan, will share knowledge and experience including exploration technologies and equipment necessary to promote the utilization of resources.● Bandai Namco Research Institute, Inc., has developed a special alloy plate “Gundam Open Innovation Space Century Charter” based on the design of the monument “Charter of the Universal Century” in the animation “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)”, which will be transported as a Mission 2 payload.● The University of Adelaide will support in-situ resource utilization activities on the Moon during Mission 2 activities including the collection of lunar regolith and transfer of ownership to NASA.● Kurita Water Industries Ltd, aims to develop technologies for water generation and recovery that can contribute to the sustainable construction of space infrastructure, including energy production (hydrogen generation) on the Moon utilizing the water resources.
(A computer-generated image of ispace’s micro rover.)
(A computer-generated image of ispace’s RESILIENCE lander and micro rover on the lunar surface.)
(ispace engineers assembling the Mission 2 RESILIENCE lander flight model at a JAXA facility in Tsukuba, Japan.)
(An image of ispace’s Mission 2 RESILIENCE lander taken at a JAXA facility in Tsukuba, Japan)
● Bandai Namco Research Institute, Inc., has developed a special alloy plate “Gundam Open Innovation Space Century Charter” based on the design of the monument “Charter of the Universal Century” in the animation “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)”, which will be transported as a Mission 2 payload.
Article 7. Every citizen of the Earth Federation and its Member States has the right to freely move to and reside in the federally approved space settlements, including the settlements on the Moon and other celestial bodies, within the limitations of federal laws.
Thank you to The Planetary Society (@exploreplanets) voters for selecting our image of a solar eclipse from lunar orbit, captured on #HAKUTO_R M1, as the Best Solar System image of '23! We appreciate the recognition and remain dedicated to the #lunarquest.
Wishing you happy holidays from all of us at ispace!With our Mission 2 RESILIENCE lunar lander and micro rover planned to launch in 2024, and Mission 3 APEX 1.0 lander currently scheduled for 2026, stay tuned for exciting updates in the new year!#ispace #HAKUTO_R #lunarquest
Introducing the Mission 2 development site! iSpace engineers are currently developing the flight model of the #RESILIENCE lander, including detailed assembly of the propulsion system and electrical system.#ispace #HAKUTO_R #月を生活圏に
New Year Statement of Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace, inc.1 Jan, 2024TOKYO—January 1, 2024The following statement was released by Takeshi Hakamada, Founder and CEO of ispace, inc.:Happy New Year! I would like to extend my best wishes for the beginning of the year 2024.Around this time last year, we confirmed that ispace’s “HAKUTO-R” Mission 1 lunar lander had cruised stably in deep space for one month after its launch. Achieving Success 1 through Success 8 of the Mission 1 Milestones demonstrated the feasibility of a lunar mission by a private company and impressed the world with the possibilities for the future. The results of the mission are now available to the world. We believe that this valuable knowledge and achievement has been greatly helping ispace as a pioneer to establish a significant advantage for its future growth as a provider of transportation and data services in the cislunar economy that we are establishing between Earth and the Moon. Mission 1, “Never Quit the Lunar Quest,” did not extinguish the flame in our hearts, but rather strengthened it, igniting it anew and providing the impetus to reinvigorate it quickly and flexibly for the missions that follow.In April, we were listed on the Growth Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, marking a new stage in our growth as a company. In October, we were selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for a “Small Business Innovation Research” grant worth approximately $80 million (12 billion yen) subsidy for the “development and operational demonstration of a lunar lander,” thereby laying the foundation for future business growth. In addition, we strengthened our global organizational structure. We welcomed former NASA astronaut Ronald J. Garan Jr. as CEO of our U.S. subsidiary, ispace technologies U.S., Inc. In October, we welcomed Kenichi Imamura, who has extensive experience in global organizational culture and structure, as Chief People Officer (CPO) of ispace, and made steady preparations for further growth.All of these developments are the result of the contributions of all employees who have walked with us, the families who have continued to support us, and the support of our shareholders, HAKUTO-R partners, government officials, customers, and many other stakeholders who continue to believe in ispace’s vision. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again.Now, in Q4 of 2024, we are planning to launch HAKUTO-R Mission 2. The lander, named RESILIENCE as a sign of revival, will carry a micro-rover developed by our European subsidiary, ispace EUROPE S.A., to the Moon. Mission 2 will be an initial effort to explore for resources, which is an important measure to promote the establishment of the Cislunar Economy.In parallel with Mission 2, ispace U.S. will continue to develop the APEX 1.0 lander for Mission 3, as a member of Team Draper for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS). As part of CLPS CP-12, we will support NASA’s plan to transport three scientific payloads into lunar orbit and to the polar regions on the far side of the Moon. As ispace U.S. moves forward with the development of APEX 1.0, we expect ispace U.S. to establish itself as a strategic partner for various U.S. lunar exploration missions in the future.As countries around the world plan their various missions to the Moon, ispace will leverage its unique strength of global presence and diverse workforce found in our three operating bases in Japan, the United States, and Luxembourg to contribute to government and commercial missions. This year, we will continue our efforts to support variety of customers from governments and private sectors around the world. We believe that through each of our efforts we will realize ispace’s vision, “Expand our planet, Expand our future.”This year is also a year of new challenges as we make multiple preparations for Mission 2 to Mission 6 in parallel, but we will continue to boldly take on new challenges and devote ourselves to them without being bound by conventional wisdom.
Our #HAKUTO_R Mission 2 RESILIENCE lander will transport 5 payloads to the lunar surface, which are being integrated as lander development progresses. (1/2)
Pictured here is a commemorative alloy plate modeled after the “Charter of the Universal Century”, developed by Bandai Namco Research Institute based on Gundam, inscribed with a “Message to the Future”. (2/2)#ispace #lunarquest #GOI