Credit: ispace

Around this time last year, we confirmed that ispace’s “HAKUTO-R” Mission 1 lunar lander had cruised stably in deep space for one month after its launch. Achieving Success 1 through Success 8 of the Mission 1 Milestones demonstrated the feasibility of a lunar mission by a private company and impressed the world with the possibilities for the future. The results of the mission are now available to the world. We believe that this valuable knowledge and achievement has been greatly helping ispace as a pioneer to establish a significant advantage for its future growth as a provider of transportation and data services in the cislunar economy that we are establishing between Earth and the Moon. Mission 1, “Never Quit the Lunar Quest,” did not extinguish the flame in our hearts, but rather strengthened it, igniting it anew and providing the impetus to reinvigorate it quickly and flexibly for the missions that follow.

In April, we were listed on the Growth Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, marking a new stage in our growth as a company. In October, we were selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for a “Small Business Innovation Research” grant worth approximately $80 million (12 billion yen) subsidy for the “development and operational demonstration of a lunar lander,” thereby laying the foundation for future business growth. In addition, we strengthened our global organizational structure. We welcomed former NASA astronaut Ronald J. Garan Jr. as CEO of our U.S. subsidiary, ispace technologies U.S., Inc. In October, we welcomed Kenichi Imamura, who has extensive experience in global organizational culture and structure, as Chief People Officer (CPO) of ispace, and made steady preparations for further growth.

All of these developments are the result of the contributions of all employees who have walked with us, the families who have continued to support us, and the support of our shareholders, HAKUTO-R partners, government officials, customers, and many other stakeholders who continue to believe in ispace’s vision. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again.

Now, in Q4 of 2024, we are planning to launch HAKUTO-R Mission 2. The lander, named RESILIENCE as a sign of revival, will carry a micro-rover developed by our European subsidiary, ispace EUROPE S.A., to the Moon. Mission 2 will be an initial effort to explore for resources, which is an important measure to promote the establishment of the Cislunar Economy.

In parallel with Mission 2, ispace U.S. will continue to develop the APEX 1.0 lander for Mission 3, as a member of Team Draper for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS). As part of CLPS CP-12, we will support NASA’s plan to transport three scientific payloads into lunar orbit and to the polar regions on the far side of the Moon. As ispace U.S. moves forward with the development of APEX 1.0, we expect ispace U.S. to establish itself as a strategic partner for various U.S. lunar exploration missions in the future.

As countries around the world plan their various missions to the Moon, ispace will leverage its unique strength of global presence and diverse workforce found in our three operating bases in Japan, the United States, and Luxembourg to contribute to government and commercial missions. This year, we will continue our efforts to support variety of customers from governments and private sectors around the world. We believe that through each of our efforts we will realize ispace’s vision, “Expand our planet, Expand our future.”

This year is also a year of new challenges as we make multiple preparations for Mission 2 to Mission 6 in parallel, but we will continue to boldly take on new challenges and devote ourselves to them without being bound by conventional wisdom.

About ispace

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 250 employees worldwide.

Source: ispace

Kris Christiaens's Avatar

Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.