Japan’s ispace has attracted US$90.2 million in Series A funding to support its plans to facilitate human inhabitation on the moon.
The startup believes there will be 1000 people living on the moon by 2040 and 10,000 will visit it annually at that point. And it aims to provide logistics services to a variety of customers with its lunar lander, which takes payloads of around 30kg.
The financing, which ispace said in a news statement is the ‘largest to date in the global commercial space sector’ will be used to develop the lander and carry out two missions by the end of the decade.
Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace, said: “With this funding, ispace will begin the development of lunar lander to establish a flexible and regular lunar transportation system, and lead the exploration and development of lunar surface through micro-robotic systems.”
He continued: “In addition to our Tokyo Headquarters, we will actively embark on projects at our offices in Luxembourg and USA to lead the global space resource development. With the network and knowledge of our new shareholders, we will not only expand commercial space activities centered around lunar resources, but also create a sustainable living sphere beyond Earth.”
Japan Airlines, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Development Bank of Japan and Dentsu are some of the businesses that have invested in the Series A funding round.