Japanese firm Ispace, which specializes in robotics and intends to become one of the first lunar delivery companies, has announced its first two missions to the moon. The first trip (scheduled for 2020) will carry a payload into orbit, while the second (in 2021) will take ispace's rovers to the lunar surface.
Ispace has booked room for its hardware aboard two forthcoming launches of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
"We share the vision with SpaceX of enabling humans to live in space, so we’re very glad they will join us in this first step of our journey," said Takeshi Hakamada, CEO and founder of Ispace.
SpaceX is aiming to dominate the commercial rocket launch industry, offering its services to other private companies like Ispace and enabling them to get their businesses off the ground (in every sense).
The company is currently working on improving its rocket technology, creating boosters that can be re-used up to 100 times, which would drastically reduce the cost of each launch and make space travel more affordable for budding companies like Ispace.
“We are entering a new era in space exploration, and SpaceX is proud to have been selected by ispace to launch their first lunar missions," said SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell. "We are looking forward to delivering their innovative spacecraft to the Moon.”
Via The Verge (opens in new tab)