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Curiosity

Tokyo firm to send rovers to moon via SpaceX by ’21

A Japanese start-up will send rovers to the moon via Elon Musk’s Space X by 2021.


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Updated: September 28, 2018

Tokyo-based space startup ispace, inc. plans to launch a spacecraft for a moon landing by 2021 using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, having concluded a relevant contract with the U.S. rocket company, the Japanese firm announced Wednesday.

Under the plan, the Minato Ward, Tokyo-based startup is scheduled to test the technology needed to put the spacecraft, currently under development, into the moon’s orbit in mid-2020 and to have it land on the moon in mid-2021.

The 3.5-meter-high, about 350-kilogram lander will carry two rovers — weighing about 10 kilograms — that are supposed to probe the moon’s surface for two weeks.

Financial corporations such as public-private investment fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan have contributed approximately ¥10 billion in funding to the plan, the Tokyo company said.

“We want to develop a thrilling and exciting project,” ispace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada said at a press conference on Wednesday.



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The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

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