ispace Europe, ArianeGroup and ESA to Assess Commercial Partnership for Lunar Transportation Services

LUXEMBOURG, December 10 (ispace PR) – ispace Europe (ispace EU), the European subsidiary of ispace, inc., and ArianeGroup have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in a pilot phase aiming to establish commercial partnerships in Europe for lunar transportation and exploration. ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, November 24, with ispace EU and ArianeGroup. This marks the official start of the pilot phase.

During this phase, the ispace EU-ArianeGroup partnership will undertake business, technical and socio-economic evaluations of their lunar transportation service, which will ultimately be presented to an ESA evaluation panel; the companies are seeking a decision from ESA by Summer 2022. If endorsed by the Panel and further confirmed by ESA Member States, ispace EU and ArianeGroup could become a vetted candidate to transport ESA payloads to the Moon.

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Airbus, MBRSC Sign Agreement for Emirates Lunar Mission

Rashid lunar rover (Credit: Wikieditsfxj)

Airbus Defence and Space and Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre have signed an agreement to work together on the Emirates Lunar Mission to operate the Rashid rover on the moon next year. The Khaleej Times reports:

The MBRSC recently signed an agreement with Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Airbus responsible for defence and aerospace products and services, for collaboration on the country’s Mission to Moon for ‘in-situ’ tests.

These tests are conducted on or in the soil at site on the moon’s surface by means of the material adhesive demonstration (MAD) experiment.

The MoU was signed by Salem AlMarri, deputy director-general, MBRSC, and Andreas Lindenthal, head of business operations and products, Airbus Space Systems, on the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress, the world’s premier space event, being held at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.

The Rashid rover is set to be carried to the lunar surface by ispace’s HAKUTO-R lander in 2022.

Airbus, Air Liquide and ispace Europe Launch EURO2MOON, a Non-profit Platform to Explore Future Uses of Lunar Resources

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) announces its intention to join this organization as the first non-founding member

DUBAI, UAE, 26 October 2021 (ispace PR) – In the context of increased momentum around space exploration, Airbus Defense & Space, Air Liquide and ispace Europe have announced the joint creation of EURO2MOON.

Bringing in complementary expertise from public and private partners, EURO2MOON will focus on topics related to the exploration of the lunar surface and the utilization of its resources in a commercial and sustainable way.

The objective is to create a platform of exchange in order to build a common vision and promote it among the European industrial and institutional ecosystems, including recommendations on global roadmaps, demonstration concepts and commercial programs. Topics to be addressed will include long duration transport, life support, energy needs for scientific and commercial applications.

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Airbus Ventures Invests in ispace’s Series C Extension Round

TOKYO, October 25, 2021 (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) announced that it raised additional financing from Airbus Ventures, as part of an extension of the lunar exploration company’s Series C investment round, following its initial Series C funding announced on August 4, 2021, and its Series C extension round funding announced on October 20th.

With this latest investment, ispace’s total amount raised since seed investment is approximately $200 million (USD).[i] The funds from ispace’s Series C investment round are planned to be applied toward ispace’s second lunar mission, which is planned to launch in 2023[ii], as well as to support the development of its Series 2 lunar lander for its third mission, which is currently planned to launch in 2024[iii]. The Series 2 lander for the third mission is currently being developed in the United States.

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Israel, UAE Agree to Collaborate on Lunar, Earth Observation & Satellite Missions

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will collaborate on a mission to the moon, analyze data from an Israeli-French Earth observation satellite, and launch a joint education satellite under a landmark agreement signed last week to cooperate on a range of space projects, the Israel Space Agency (ISA) announced.

The two nations will collaborate on Genesis 2, an $100 million Israeli mission to launch an orbiter to the moon and deploy landers at two different locations on the lunar surface. The mission, which is to be half funded with foreign contributions, is scheduled to launch in 2024.

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ispace to Collaborate on Lunar Resources Extraction Rover with Haptic Robotic Arm and Mixed Reality (XR) Functions

Memorandum of Understanding signed with Canadian company Stardust and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney and EXPLOR Space Technologies

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace), ispace Europe SA (ispace Europe), Stardust Technologies Inc. (Stardust), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and EXPLOR Space Technologies (EXPLOR) collectively signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a mining rover with a multipurpose robotics arm utilizing virtual reality, haptic feedback in the framework of in situ resource utilization (ISRU) activities on the Moon.

Under the proposed collaboration, the parties involved plan to engage in the form of one or more of the following:

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ispace Unveils Next Generation Lunar Lander for its 3rd Lunar Mission Targeting 2024 Launch

ispace’s Series 2 lunar lander. (Credit: ispace)

The lander, larger in size and payload design capacity, is planned to be designed and manufactured in the US

Colorado Springs, Colo. (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) unveiled its next generation lunar lander, Series 2, which the company plans to first use for its third lunar mission (Mission 3), as well as subsequent future missions. Standing at approximately 9 ft tall and 14 ft wide (approx. 2.7 m tall by 4.2 m wide), including its legs, it is larger in both size and customer payload design capacity than ispace’s first-generation lander model, Series 1, which the company is developing for its first and second missions.

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iSpace Fails to Orbit Satellite for Second Time in 2021

The Chinese commercial launch provider iSpace failed to orbit a satellite with its Hyperbola-1 rocket for the second time in a row on Tuesday.

iSpace, which is also known as the Interstellar Glory Space Technology, said in a press release that the four-stage rocket worked as planned after liftoff from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. However, the fairing failed to separate, so the unidentified satellite could not enter its planned 500 km high sun synchronous orbit.

“This launch further verified the correctness of the overall plan of the Hyperbola-1 rocket, obtained effective flight data, and accumulated valuable experience and lessons,” the company said.

It was the second failure in three launch attempts for the commercial company. On Feb. 1, a Hyperbola-1 rocket carrying multiple satellites veered off course early during its flight. The company attributed the failure to a falling piece of foam.

iSpace made history in July 2019 when its Hyperbola-1 rocket placed several payloads into space. It was the first successful launch by a private Chinese company.


ispace Raises $46 Million in Series C Funding with New Funds Going Toward Mission 2 & 3

HAKUTO-R lander on the moon. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO, August 4, 2021 (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) announced that it contracted to fund approximately $46 million (USD)[i] from seven investors, including Incubate Fund as the lead investor, for its Series C investment round. This brings ispace’s cumulative total funding to approximately $195.5 million (USD)[ii] including past Series B, Series A and seed investment, as well as its existing and new bank loan financing announced in June 2021.

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Israel’s Helios Signs Agreement with iSpace to Produce Oxygen on the Moon

Helios’ oxygen production solution, supported by the Israel Space Agency, could reduce the number of launches from Earth and allow for a long-term human presence in deep space. (Credit: Helios)

TEL AVIV (Israel Space Agency PR) — The Israeli company Helios, which develops technology for extracting oxygen from the lunar soil, signed the first Israeli-Japanese agreement for technological cooperation on July 19. Helios, with the support of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, will be integrated into the mission to the moon of the Japanese company ispace. As part of the mission, the Israeli company will conduct a demonstration of technology for extracting oxygen and metal from the lunar regolith.

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ispace Begins Final Assembly of Lunar Lander Flight Model Ahead of First Mission

Hakuto-R spacecraft (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO (ispace PR) –- Today, ispace announced that it began the assembly of the flight model for its lunar lander, which is to be used in the company’s first mission scheduled to launch in 2022. This is a major engineering milestone in the development of the lander and part of the final stretch toward our first mission.

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Citizen Releases New Watch Model in Collaboration with i-Space’s HAKUTO-R Lunar Exploration Program

Left: Eco-Drive GPS SATELLITE WAVE F950 Double Direct Flight – Limited edition of 1,200 units worldwide. Right: Eco-Drive Radio-controlled Direct Flight – Limited edition of 1,600 units worldwide. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO, June 16, 2021 (ispace PR) – ispace, inc. (“ispace”), a lunar exploration company headquartered in Japan, and Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (“Citizen”) are pleased to announce that Citizen will release two limited-edition watches in collaboration with the HAKUTO-R program, a commercial lunar exploration program consisting of ispace’s first two missions.

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ispace Applauds Japan’s Passage of Space Resources Law

The Law Concerning the Promotion of Business Activities Related to the Exploration and Development of Space Resources was passed by the National Diet of Japan 

Tokyo, Japan, June 15 – ispace, inc. (ispace) issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Law Concerning the Promotion of Business Activities Related to the Exploration and Development of Space Resources by the National Diet of Japan on June 15, 2021. 

Statement by Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO, ispace: 

“We enthusiastically support the passage of Japan’s space resources law and applaud the nonpartisan parliamentary group of diet members for taking a swift action to lead the world in this endeavor, alongside other nations who have recently passed similar legislation or who may be in preparations to do so. I am very certain that this rule making effort will bring opportunities and  order to commercial activities and should offer a strong sense of the future growth of our industry, as well as the sustainable future of humanity, to many stakeholders worldwide.” 

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ispace Receives $17.9 Million in Bank Loans

HAKUTO-R lander on the moon. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO (ispace PR) – ispace, inc. (ispace) announced that it signed loan agreements totaling of $17.9 million (USD)[1] with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., Resona Bank, Limited, and Japan Finance Corporation. As of May 31, ispace’s total amount of bank loans reached $20 million (USD)[2] including the existing loan from Japan Finance and Dai-ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative.

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