Japan plans to send their first man to live on the moon by 2030 as a part of their international mission. The project is being financed by NASA and Ispace is currently working on it together with Mr. Acerino, a commercial space and lunar exploration expert from Canada.
In 2008, White Label Space contested for a $20 million in Google Lunar X Prize. For the sake of quality photos and videos, a spacecraft was sent to the moon’s surface.
In 2010, Yoshida Robotics Ltd. partnered with White Label Space where Takeshi Hakamada stepped in to be the leader. Meanwhile, “Sorato,” a rover, was built by Japanese contingent which means a white rabbit. The Lunar Lander was to be built by White Label Space.
On March 2011, when Japan started shaking. The ocean floor gave space, the waves erupted, triggering an earthquake of magnitude 9 accompanied by the great tsunami waves. This disrupted the country’s infrastructure as well as all sorts of communication and transportation routes. It took away more than 16,000 lives. But inside Tohoku University, a team working on a rover also competing for Google Lunar X Prize was making their dreams come true. The rover was a 22 pond metallic thing that survived the earthquake. This team of students later became a company; today knows as Ispace.
As for White Label Space, working on their creation proved more difficult than they had thought, for running a space company is tough. In early years only 5 teams were left. 27 teams had given up. Not only were they facing space problems such as rocks blowing up, failed experiments and employees quitting their jobs but also a huge financial crisis. The company’s bank account was near to zero.
The team was in need of finance when it won the Mobility Milestone worth half a million dollars. Japan comes right after the USA when it comes to space research. Japan then began investing in startups outside their country as at that point Japan had no major space set up of its own.
Working with the help of the Government, Aoki emerged at that point granting a $940 million venture capital. Soon then Spacetide, Japan’s first conference for the space industry took place. The government alongside the companies took great risks and pressure from its citizens for the space industry. From being old schooled, it began to modernize and change their working methods for the sake of success.
As for White label Space and Yoshida Robotics, their parent company Ispace organized a contract with India’s Team Indus which had built a lander. Ispace and Team Indus agreed to do the field testing together where Ispace would ride with Team Indus.
If the plan became a success – Ispace was in for millions and millions of dollars from Google. They raised up to $90 million from investors worldwide. They became known not only in Japan but all over the world. But luck betrayed them and their future started to shatter when unfortunately Team Indus couldn’t raise the desired amount of money which was essential for their creation. As a result, the contract ended. Now, Ispace had to face their investors, the government and the people who believed so much in them.
As for the X Prize; the team withdrew their prize money of $20 million for the remaining competing teams. After extending their deadline from year after year starting from 2014 to Jan 23rd, 2018. The foundation concluded that teams could still compete, not for prize money but for recognition.
But for Ispace, it was never about those $20 million. It was all about the Moon Valley. The company worked in difficult and tough times for its ideology of the moon valley. It hired more expertise, well-known experts, invested more and worked towards their goal.
Luckily, they found Acerino, from Canada who became a global business development manager. Together they set up an office at NASA.
Today Ispace plans to permanently establish lunar settlement by sending its bots to the moon. It has built an 8.3-pound machine that looks like a bug with a carbon fiber body. The cameras that provide a 360-degree view of its surrounding. Ispace has its own version of the 21st century where it believes in creating a place on the moon. Japan plans to send their first man to live on the moon by 2030 as a part of their international mission.