The company SpaceX has signed a contract with a Japanese start-up ispace on two missions for the delivery of several spacecraft to the moon in the framework of LONG-R. Launches scheduled for 2020 and 2021 will be conducted using the carrier rocket Falcon 9. In the first (in 2020) to our natural satellite, SpaceX will deliver orbiting spacecraft. The second (2021) – a lander with Rovers.
Company ispace is one of the finalists of the Google Lunar XPrize competition with a top prize of $ 30 million. The Rovers are a modified version of the LONG Rover, which the company introduced in the framework of this competition. The lander and the Orbiter is a completely new development of the Japanese startup.
Recall that the purpose of the contest Google Lunar XPrize was to design and send on the moon of a spacecraft that can overcome the 500 meters on the surface of the Earth satellite and send photos and videos of the satellite with high resolution.
In January 2018, the contest organizers announced that none of the teams participating will not have time to carry out the mission until the end of the end of the contest, and he was left without winners. Despite the early termination of the competition, some finalists have continued to develop their projects and announced that he will continue preparations to launch its spacecraft to the moon with the support of outside investors. Most ispace managed to collect two runs of 95 million dollars. In addition to ispace is going to the moon, an Israeli company SpaceIL, who also signed a contract with SpaceX to launch their lunar lander in December of this year. Another former member of the X Prize, Astrobotic, the company plans in mid-2020 to send a lander Peregrine by means of the rocket “Atlas-5” of United Launch Alliance.
The Orbiter mission LONG-R company ispace, which takes you to the moon in 2020
“We share the views of SpaceX in the matter of human life in space and therefore are pleased that they joined us in our first step of our journey,” commented in the press release of the company ispace its CEO Takeshi Hakamada.
In addition to the missions, scheduled for 2020 and 2021 ispace prepares seven missions for 2022, during which it will create a transport platform to move between Earth and the Moon and explore the water reserves in the polar regions of the moon, however, ispace has not yet disclose the details of those missions.
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