iSpace, a Japanese startup, raises $90 million for moon mission
New Delhi : A Japan-based startup company ispace has raised approximately 90 million dollars in a series A round that is biggest series A round for the commercial space sector outside of the United States.
Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan, Suzuki Motor, and Japan Airlines are some big investors in the project.
The money raised will be invested in two phases; in the first phase, company will aim to put a lander into the Moon's orbit by 2019 then in the second phase, it will aim a soft landing on the Moon's surface by 2020, followed by the deployment of multiple rovers to explore the lunar surface.
“With this funding, ispace will begin the development of lunar lander to establish a flexible and regular lunar transportation system, and lead the exploration and development of lunar surface through micro-robotic systems,” Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace, said in a statement.
Each rover developed on the surface of moon will be able to carry a weight of approximately 66 pounds. The company plans to collect a wide variety of data about the Moon's surface, which can then be sold to its customers.Lunar development is also a long-term goal for ispace. Through its efforts, the company envisions a future where there are as many as 1,000 people living on the Moon, and it aims to be a part of making that a reality.
"With the network and knowledge of our new shareholders, we will not only expand commercial space activities centered around lunar resources, but also create a sustainable living sphere beyond Earth," Hakamada said in the statement.