Japan’s iSpace, which is a company that deals with resource exploration and robotics, has signed a deal with SpaceX to help reach the moon with their payloads in 2020 and 2021.
As Geekwire reports, these two lunar missions belong to a program called Hakuto-R. Hakuto in Japanese can be translated to “white rabbit,” while the R is for reboot. When the new missions take place, SpaceX will be using its powerful Falcon 9 rocket to shuttle iSpace’s lunar rover and lunar orbiter, so that on the first mission in 2020 the company will be able to deploy their spacecraft into a lunar orbit.
Once the spacecraft is in orbit, iSpace will be using its second mission with SpaceX in 2021 to achieve a soft landing while depositing its rover on the moon to study the surface. SpaceX’s president and CEO Gwynne Shotwell explained in a press release that the company is excited about this opportunity to help iSpace achieve its goal in collecting data from the lunar surface of the moon.
“We are entering a new era in space exploration, and SpaceX is proud to have been selected by iSpace to launch their first lunar missions. We are looking forward to delivering their innovative spacecraft to the moon.”
Japan’s ispace strikes deal with SpaceX for launches to the moon in 2020 and 2021 https://t.co/gTwpJqtbxg
— GeekWire (@geekwire) September 27, 2018
Takeshi Hakamada, the CEO and man responsible for creating iSpace, noted that he feels his company and SpaceX have many things in common, not the least of which is their collective dream of sending humans out into space to eventually become an interstellar species.
“We share the vision with SpaceX of enabling humans to live in space, so we’re very glad they will join us in this first step of our journey.”
With 65 employees of iSpace in Japan, the United States, and Luxembourg, the company’s plan to send its lunar orbiter and rover to the moon on two missions has so far received $95 million in funding in just the last year alone, all of which is promising with the year 2020 fast approaching.
Besides helping iSpace to achieve their lunar landing in the coming years, SpaceX has also signed a deal with SpaceIL to take them to the moon in 2019, with the Seattle company Spaceflight lending a hand to support their efforts.
And of course, there is also the journey planned for 2023 in which SpaceX will be taking Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on a trip to the moon with a collection of artists, as the Inquisitr recently reported.
With the recent deal that was struck between iSpace and SpaceX to head to the moon, the future of space travel has never been more exciting than it is right now.