The Japanese startup Ispace has reached a total of 195.5 million dollars in funding. The first lunar mission is scheduled for 2022.
The (economic) conquest of the Moon is the goal of Ispace Inc. , the space startup based in Tokyo which is planning a series of missions on the satellite starting from the second half of 2022 , to then continue, according to the business plan, also in 2023 and 2024, increasing the size of its lunar lander from time to time.
The goal at which the top management of Ispace is aiming is to become ” the lunar equivalent of FedEx Corp. “, so as to be the first company to carry out transport of scientific equipment and, in the future, commercial products to the Moon .
An idea that might seem science fiction, but which has managed over the years to attract a total of approximately 195.5 million dollars in investments, of which 46 million dollars announced this August 4th in the third round of raising external funds.
The figure was put on the plate by a total of 7 international investors, led by compatriot Incubate Fund , ready to bet on this new space business .
$ 196 million for the Japanese startup to conquer the Moon
This is certainly a very important result achieved by Ispace founded about 11 years ago, precisely in September 2010. The space startup was launched to respond to the Google Lunar X Prize , launched in 2007 by Google and the X Prize Foundation.
To win the first chance of financing from a private company for a space mission, the participating companies had to present their project through which it would be possible to land on the Moon , travel on its surface for 500 meters and send images and videos in high definition on Earth.
However, none of the entrants were deemed fit to win the $ 20 million prize provided and, in 2018, the Google Lunar X Prize was closed with no winner.
Ispace’s first mission to the Moon scheduled for 2022
Despite this initial failure, the founder and CEO of Ispace, Takeshi Hakamada , has not given up on continuing to develop his company in this area, so as to be able to convince investors to bet on the company mission.
Unlike what has been achieved in recent months by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos , who started what is defined as the era of space tourism , the goal of the Tokyo startup is to be able to establish a service high-frequency delivery on the moon .
Specializing in this area, future space missions financed by governments and international agencies will thus have to contact Ispace itself to deliver specialist material capable of facilitating the same explorations and minimizing risks.