Japanese company hopes to send two missions to the moon
The Japanese startup ispace has signed a contract with the company Ilona Mask SpaceX to launch a spacecraft to the moon. A private lunar research company said it plans to send a landing pad and rovers to the moon on the SpaceX rocket in two separate missions. The space program will first go into orbit in mid-2020, and then land on a satellite in mid-2021.
The deal was signed a week after SpaceX confirmed the contract with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maedzawa, who in 2023 should go on a cruise around the moon. Representatives of the startup stated that they supported SpaceX’s vision of space colonization, so they would be happy to join them in the first stage of such journeys. In addition, they said they fully trust the company. Until the exact costs of future moon missions are revealed. But the Japanese company has already managed to collect $ 95 million from investors. The ispace company now has 60 employees. They became one of the five finalists in Google Lunar XPrize, but did not take the lead.