SpaceX shall be launch provider of ispace for its maiden voyages to the moon in 2020 and 2021as the first and the second missions. ispace has named the first two missions to the moon as HAKUTO-R, that means Reboot. This is a reference to HAKUTO, meaning the “white rabbit” in Japanese, based on the folklore of the rabbit on the moon and Hakuto was also the team that ispace managed which was one of the top 5 finalists of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The Lunar Landers and Lunar Rovers will be now made by SpaceX – as the secondary payloads to Falcon 9, also made by SpaceX.
It is known that ispace inc is the first private Japan lunar exploration company that bought multiple explorations. The company having 65 staffs, has offices in Japan, which is the headquarters, besides their office in Luxembourg and the US. In Japan alone they raised a funding of US$95 million in Series A which will be used for the two missions as mentioned earlier. The HAKUTO-R ‘s Moon orbit and Moon landing missions as mentioned shall lay the groundwork for customized and developed lunar missions later that would definitely be of higher frequencies and the missions would also be complex with time, as have been known.
The following inputs from top professionals in the field of lunar missions have to be taken into account-
ispace Founder & CEO Takeshi Hakamada spoke about how he supports SpaceX’s vision of providing essential tools and technologies to humans to be able to live in space, SpaceX President & COO, Gwynne Shotwell also spoke about his excitement in joining hands with ispace for the lunar missions. He also said, “We are looking forward to delivering their innovative spacecraft to the Moon.”
Also a 40-year career veteran and retired supervisor for spaceflight technology at JAXA, Yasufumi Wakabayashi praised ispace for working on space development solutions and missions with a solid environment, that requires real caliber.
An Orbital Propulsion Expert & Technical officer, Martin Riehle of the Ariane Group has kept ispace over ESA and NASA while talking about sustainability, pricing and systematic approach of their missions to the moon and wished them all the best for their challenging endeavor.
After the orbiting, the last mission that will have the soft landing of the lunar crafts shall have rovers to collect and store data of the lunar scapes and this shall be very important. The Preliminary Design Review(PDR) is over and the updated designs have been released by the company after expert advice from around 26 experts from Japan, US, Europe, that also includes the coveted members of JAXA(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). The review has declared that the lunar mission is “successful pending closure of key actions” and the designing, functionality and all technicalities were found to be ready and perfect for the launch.