The Japanese company Ispace has received over $ 90 million to create a system for the delivery of PN customers to the moon

    Actually, this is a free translation of this article .


    The lander and micro rover Ispace is developing for lunar missions. During the first round of financing ended December 13, the company received more than $ 90M. According to Ispace, this should be enough for two demonstration missions by the end of 2020. Authors: Ispace

    NEW ORLEANS, a Japanese company planning a series of robotic missions to the moon, announced on December 13 that it raised more than $ 90 million in its first round of funding, which has become one of the largest rounds of the A series for any newly emerging space enterprise.

    Tokyo Ispace announced the completion of the first round of financing in which it received $ 90.2M. The funds were received from a consortium of Japanese foundations and companies, and will be used to develop two missions from launch until the end of 2020 as part of preparing a series of regular missions with a soft landing on the moon in subsequent years.


    In an interview with Takeshi Hakamada, the founder and CEO of Ispace, he said that he planned to receive such a large amount so that he had enough funds to carry out these demonstration missions.

    “We wanted to make sure that our funding was enough for two test missions.” He said. “With these two missions, we are going to test our technology and make a successful soft landing on the moon. After we confirm the technology, we are going to become a lunar transport company. ”

    Ispace has planned two missions, including using the landing module, which the company is currently creating. The first mission is planned in the fourth quarter of 2019, and should place the satellite in a lunar orbit, for observing the lunar surface. The second mission, which is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2020, will try to make a soft landing and deliver a number of small ATVs to the moon.

    Work on the orbiter began earlier this year, Hakamada said. The lander must still go through two key stages of development, a preliminary analysis of the project and a subsequent critical review of the design, in the coming year. According to him, the company is negotiating to launch the spacecraft as secondary payloads on vehicles such as the SpaceX Falcon 9.

    If the missions are successful, Hakamada said, Ispace plans to offer the next series of landing missions to deliver up to 30 kg of customers' payload per flight to the lunar surface. “We intend to create a transport company to deliver goods to the moon,” he said. “One of the key points of the concept is the regular, planned delivery of goods to the moon.” Such missions, he added, can fly at least monthly depending on demand.

    Hakamada says the revenue from these missions may be sufficient to allow the company to opt out of additional rounds of funding. “If we can successfully demonstrate our technologies with these first two missions, we don’t need to attract additional funding,” he said.

    These missions will not be the first spacecraft that Ispace sends to the moon. The company, through Team Hakuto , is a Google Lunar X Prize finalist . The team built a rover, which it plans to send to the moon using an apparatus developed by another finalist, Team Indus .

    The team has built a rover and is completing testing it before sending it to Team Indus later this month. It is not clear, however, when Team Indus will be ready to launch. This team recently said it seeks to raise $ 35 million, half the total value of the mission through sponsorship and crowdfunding. This effort goes just a few months before the start of the competition expires at the end of March 2018.

    Khakamada said that both teams are still working to launch the mission before the prize period, but declined to give a launch date.

    Several funds and companies in this round of financing. Hakamada said he could not disclose the amounts that each tour participant contributed, but said that the Innovation Network, a Japanese corporation, contributed $ 31 million to this round.

    Other Serie A participants include the Japan Development Bank, Development Bank of Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Konica Minolta, Shimizu, Suzuki Motor, SPARX, Dentsu, Real Tech Fund, KDDI, Japan Airlines and Toppan Printing. In addition to the financing itself, Hakamada said, investors will provide Ispace technology and other support.

    According to the company, $ 90.2M was the largest amount of initial financing in the "global commercial space industry" to date. However, OneWeb, a low-orbit satellite group company, is known to have raised $ 500M in what it calls the A-Series financing round ended in 2015.

    In addition to its headquarters in Tokyo, Ispace also has offices in the US and Luxembourg responsible for business development in North America and Europe respectively. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with, a structure created by the Luxembourg government to support the creation of the space resources industry, and is also collaborating with a research company whose mass spectrometer plans to use in its missions.

    In its announcement, Ispace said it wants to ultimately maintain a constant human presence on the moon. The company believes that about 20,000 people will work on the moon by 2040 in various industries. The company, said Khakamada, “will lead this development by providing access to the lunar surface and creating a world in which the Earth and the Moon will be a single ecosystem.”

    Thanks to the respected pnetmon , the company’s website was discovered, and it’s a very interesting video on the company's plans, which I already posted in the comments, but decided to put it here too:

    By the way, there is also a second video about the team working on the project:

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