20 Jul, 2022
Launch Window Announced, Lander in Final Testing
TOKYO—July 20, 2022 — Today ispace, inc.(ispace), a global lunar exploration company with its headquarters in Japan and regional offices in the United States and Europe, released key updates for its Mission 1 (M1) launch window and updated progress on its lander Assembly, Integration & Testing (AIT), the company announced.
According to its current plan as of this announcement, ispace plans to launch its M1, part of the HAKUTO-R program, as early as November 2022*, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Upon its deployment from the rocket, the M1 lander will then carry multiple commercial and government payloads including two rovers to the surface of the Moon.
“In January, I said that 2022 would be a significant year in our company’s history and that is proving to be true. We have made steady progress assembling the flight model—it is undergoing final testing now—and today I am pleased to share with you that our launch window has been set for as early as this November*,” said Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace. “We believe Mission 1 will be the turning point in the commercial space exploration. It goes without saying that the technical data and experience gained from Mission 1 are extremely important for future lunar missions around the world, including our Mission 2, to be more reliable. I would like to thank all the engineers who are working hard every day to launch M1 on schedule, and all the employees who support them, as well as our HAKUTO-R partner companies and other people involved in and supporting this mission.”
Further updates about assembly progress appear below:
● All scheduled AIT operations of the M1 flight model were completed at the end of May at ArianeGroup GmbH’s (AGG) facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany.
● Upon completion of the flight model integration, the lander was packed and shipped from the AGG facility to the IABG GmbH Space Centre, Germany, where it will undergo final testing.
● Final testing including vibration tests, thermal vacuum tests, mass property and functional testing among others to prove its readiness for the harsh extremes of space has begun and is currently in progress.
In accordance with the company’s timeline, the lander is expected to complete testing by September. Once completed, the lander will be shipped from Germany to the United States before its planned launch.
Key Progress Updates for HAKUTO-R Corporate Partners & Supporting Companies
In June 2022, Yokogawa Electric Corporation joined the HAKUTO-R partnership program as a supporting company. As a supporting company, Yokogawa Electric Corporation plans to use the knowledge gained through the HAKUTO-R program to develop the infrastructure necessary for economic activities on the lunar surface. Using technology proven for industrial use on Earth, Yokogawa plans to develop measurement technology effective for exploration of water resources for industrial use and control technology necessary for the hydrogen value chain.
In May 2022, Toray Carbon Magic, Inc. agreed to join the HAKUTO-R program as a Supporting Company. As a supporting company, Toray Carbon Magic is assisting with the development of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) airframes and components for the HAKUTO-R program. The company’s background and origins in the development of race cars is being applied to optimize design and weight reduction technologies.
Future Mission Updates
ispace has achieved full payload capacity for Mission 2 and is now in active negotiations to fill Mission 3 orders and beyond. Specific details of M2 payloads will be released at a later date.
About ispace, inc. (https://ispace-inc.com/)
ispace, a global lunar resource development company with the vision, “Expand our Planet. Expand our Future.”, specializes in designing and building lunar landers and rovers. ispace aims to extend the sphere of human life into space and create a sustainable world by providing high-frequency, low-cost transportation services to the Moon. The company has offices in Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States with more than 190 employees worldwide. ispace is part of a team led by Draper, which was selected by NASA to compete in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program. Both ispace, and ispace EUROPE S.A. (ispace EU) were awarded contracts to collect and transfer ownership of lunar regolith to NASA, and ispace EU was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program which seeks to extract water on the Moon.
Established in 2010, ispace operated “HAKUTO” which was one of five finalist teams in the Google Lunar XPRIZE race. The company’s first mission as part of its HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program is currently planned for as early as November 2022* and is expected to launch from the United States on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support new customers as a gateway to conduct business on the Moon.
* Current plan as of July 2022.