ispace to Transport Canadian AI Technology to the Moon

27 May, 2021

Mission Control Space Services will host a deep learning application on ispace’s lander to study lunar geography

Tokyo, Japan, May 27 – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) announced a newly signed contract with Mission Control Space Services (Mission Control) under which ispace will provide lunar payload delivery services to Mission Control.

Under the agreement, an artificial intelligence (AI) flight computer will be installed as a payload on ispace’s lunar lander and transported to the Moon during the company’s ‘Mission 1’ scheduled to launch in 2022[1] as part of its commercial lunar exploration program known as ‘HAKUTO-R’. The AI application will work in collaboration with The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), which also plans to utilize ispace’s lander to transport its “Rashid” rover to the Moon on the same mission. Mission Control’s application will harness deep-learning algorithms in an edge-computing architecture to recognize geological features in visual images as the rover drives around the lunar surface after it is deployed from ispace’s lander.

Mission Control’s demonstration is funded through a contribution from the Canadian Space Agency’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP).

Last month, ispace and MBRSC jointly announced that ispace plans to transport MBRSC’s “Rashid” lunar rover to the Moon in 2022.[2]

 About Mission Control (

Mission Control is a space exploration and robotics company with a focus on mission operations, onboard autonomy and artificial intelligence. We develop end-to-end robotic command and control software. Our technology allows customers to operate and automate robots deployed in harsh and remote environments – like the Moon, Mars or even here on Earth – improving the autonomy, productivity, safety, and scientific return of missions. We are also committed to inspiring the next generation of explorers through our immersive technology-based education program, Mission Control Academy, which allows students to operate a real rover as if it were on Mars. How can we help you navigate the NewSpace landscape?

 About ispace, inc. (

ispace is a lunar exploration company with over 130 staff and offices in Japan, Europe and the United States. Founded in 2010, ispace managed Team HAKUTO, one of the 5 finalists in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The company is building a small commercial lunar lander, which aims to provide a high-frequency, low-cost delivery service to the Moon, as well as a lunar rover for surface exploration. Aspiring to be a gateway for the private sector to bring their business to the Moon, ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support companies with lunar market entry. ispace is part of a team led by Draper, which was selected by NASA to compete in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program, and ispace Europe was selected by ESA to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program which seeks to extract water on the Moon.

 About HAKUTO-R (

HAKUTO-R is a multinational commercial lunar exploration program operated by ispace. It includes ispace’s first two lunar missions: Mission 1, a soft lunar landing planned to launch in 2022[3], and Mission 2, a lunar landing and deployment of a rover planned to launch in 2023[4]. For both missions, the HAKUTO-R lander is planned to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The program aspires to lay the groundwork for high-frequency lunar transportation. Corporate Partners of HAKUTO-R include Japan Airlines, Suzuki Motors, Citizen Watch, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, NGK Spark Plug, Takasago Thermal Engineering, Sumitomo Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. Media Partners for HAKUTO-R include TBS, Asahi Shimbun, and Shogakukan.


[1] Planned as of May 2021.

[2] Planned as of May 2021.

[3] Planned as of May 2021.

[4] Planned as of May 2021.

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