Lunar exploration company ispace announced it will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on April 12, which is the 62nd anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight.
The listing comes just weeks before the company’s Hakuto-R vehicle is scheduled to land on the moon in late April. The spacecraft, which was launched on December 11, would be the first private vehicle to land on the moon if it is successful.
“In December 2022, ispace launched its first lunar lander, taking the first step toward creating a world where Earth and the Moon are a unified ecosystem,” the company said in an announcement. “ispace aims to lead the world in building the critical infrastructure that will serve as the backbone of this ecosystem, and believes that this infrastructure will be essential for making Earth a sustainable place where people can live abundant lives life for many years to come.
“Through this new listing, ispace seeks to initiate dialogues with as many global stock market investors as possible and request their participation in this infrastructure building project. This will be the first step towards creating a unified ecosystem between the Earth and the Moon,” ispace added.
The HAKUTO-R lander carries 30 kg (66 lb) of commercial and government cargo, including:
- United Arab Emirates’ Rashid lunar rover
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) SORA-Q transformable lunar robot
- NGK Spark Plug Company’s solid-state battery test module
- Mission Control Space Services Inc.’s artificial intelligence (AI) flight computer
- multiple 360-degree cameras from Canadansys Aerospace
- music disc with the song “SORATO” performed by the Japanese rock band Sakanaction, an original supporter of Team HAKUTO during the Google Lunar XPRIZE
- panel engraved with the names of Team HAKUTO’s crowdfunding supporters during the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
The HAKUTO-R spacecraft has completed five of the 10 milestones so far.
HAKUTO-R Mission Milestones
|1||Completion of launch preparations||Complete all development processes of the Series 1 lunar lander prior to flight operations|
|Contract and prepare the launch vehicle, and complete the integration of the lunar lander with the launch vehicle|
|2||Completion of Launch and Deployment||Complete the successful separation of the lunar lander from the launch vehicle|
|Provide that the lander structure is capable of withstanding harsh launch conditions, design validation and information gathering towards future developments and missions|
|3||Establishing the Actual State of Operation (*Initial State of Critical Operation)||Establish a communication link between the lander and Mission Control, confirm a stable attitude, as well as start the stable generation of electrical power in orbit. Completion of this step verifies the integrity of the lander core systems and customer payloads|
|4||Completion of the first orbital control maneuver||Complete the first orbital control maneuver, set the lander on a course toward the Moon and verify the operation of the main propulsion system, as well as the associated guidance, control and navigation systems|
|5||Completion of stable deep-space flight operations for one month||Prove that the lander is capable of continuous deep-space flight by completing a nominal cruise and orbital control maneuver for one month.|
|6||Completion of all deep space orbital control maneuvers prior to LOI||Complete all planned deep space orbital control maneuvers by using gravity assist effects and successfully target the first lunar orbit insertion maneuver. This phase proves the lander’s deep-space survivability capability, as well as the viability of ispace’s orbital planning.|
|7||Reaching the lunar gravitational field/lunar orbit||Complete the first lunar orbit insertion maneuver and confirm that the lander is in a lunar orbit, verifying ispace’s ability to deliver spacecraft and payloads to stable lunar orbits|
|8||Completion of all orbital control maneuvers in lunar orbit||Complete all planned lunar orbital control maneuvers prior to the landing sequence|
|Confirm that the lander is ready to begin the landing sequence|
|9||Completion of the lunar landing||Complete landing sequences, verifying basic landing capabilities for future missions|
|10||Establishing a stable state of the system after the lunar landing||Establish a stable telecommunications and power supply on the lunar surface after landing to support surface operations of customer payloads.|
iSpace is planning a series of missions to the moon. The second mission will deploy a rover to the surface and is scheduled to launch in 2024.
ispace is a commercial spinoff from Team HAKUTO, created in 2010 to compete in the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize competition for the first private company to land and operate a rover on the moon. The prize ended in 2018 without a winner. ispace is headquartered in Japan with subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Denver, Colorado.