Image Source: Google
On August 4, 2021, The Japanese startup, Ispace, Inc. officially announced that it has secured approximately $46 million (USD) for its C Series investment from its seven investors including Incubate Fund as the lead investor. After this recent funding, Ispaces’s total funding amounts to a whopping $195.5 million (USD). This figure includes the funds from their past series B, series A, and seed investment, and new bank loan financing announced on June 2021.
The startup will be completing three lunar missions in three years. The launch of the first lunar mission is scheduled for the second half of 2022. Ispace will start the development of lunar landers for the subsequent mission to establish a high-frequency delivery to the moon. The company decided to use funding of recent year in their second lunar mission which is planned to launch in 2023, and in addition to increasing the size of the lunar lander for its third mission which is planned to launch in 2024 and being developed in the United States.
Image Source: Google
The company reported that last month it had started building the lunar landing flight module for the 2022 mission at a facility owned by space launch company ArianeGroup, in Lampoldshausen, Germany. The lander for the first mission, the Hakuto-R, will take three months to reach the moon, which largely benefits to save costs and additional weight from the propellant. This mission will deliver a 22-pound rover for Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, a Lunar robot for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and payload from three Canadian companies.
The 7.5 foot-tall Hakuto is very beneficial as it will be used in the second mission in 2023 to deposit a small ispace rover that will collect data to support company’s subsequent missions to the moon. The company is building a larger lander in United States for the big and final mission.
Ispace narrates its long term goal as being a gate opening for all private sector companies to bring their business to the Moon. The company has a great interest in helping stimulate a space-based economy, noting on its website that moon’s water resources represent untapped potential.