The project is supported by major companies in the archipelago, such as the Toyota car manufacturer and the Mizuho Bank. Even NASA is interested. Founded in 2010, start-up company Ispace has just completed a new round of Series B funding to accelerate the completion of its commercial lunar landing gear project.
For this new round of funding, which allowed the company to recover $28 million in new money, more details about the “Blueprint Moon” project were released. Ispace revealed new information about a platform that will literally market access to our natural satellite, providing companies with solutions and databases to facilitate their moon mission projects.
The United States Space Agency, which plans to send people to the moon’s surface by the end of the decade, was obviously pleased with this proposal. In the medium-term future, several national agencies such as Roscomos, the Russian space agency, are also planning to send men to the moon, so why not take advantage of the Japanese start-up experience.
The moon landing: an always dangerous mission
Since the landing phase is the most difficult, the construction of a lunar lander, or lunar landing system, is the largest expense for agencies. If a start-up company like Ispace can make its lander reliable, orders could flow very quickly to the Japanese company. But it’s not simple. If the moon’s gravity is much weaker than that of the Earth, landing on the moon is no easier. You have to manage to slow down the module so that it can land without problems, the slightest shock could damage it and thus prevent it from taking off again.
Ispace has announced this new fundraising campaign with great ambition, giving it a capital of more than 150 million dollars. With its data analysis program, the Japanese company hopes to raise funds in the short term. This would allow it to continue developing its own lunar lander, which is expected to be launched in 2022, with the first launch in 2023.
“Getting results faster”
On the company’s website, a page explaining the various objectives of the company states that “Life on Earth in the future will not be sustainable without a satellite space infrastructure. Communications, agriculture, transportation, finance, environmental sustainability and a variety of industries will depend on this extraterrestrial infrastructure. “
However, according to Ispace, the development of new space solutions will no longer be possible through state objectives, and that start-up companies (such as SpaceX, which has just raised $1.9 billion) will be a solution to accelerate development. “Until now, governments have taken on the task and risks of space development, and any setback affects administrations. We believe that this system has led to a slowdown in the growth of the space industry. Start-ups, like ours, tend to be more willing to take risks, which means more potential to get results faster” said Takeshi Hakamada, the founder and CEO of Ispace.