Lunar exploration start-up ispace has gained approval for a listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market, with trading of its shares set to commence on 12 April 2023.
ispace successfully launched its lunar lander on 11 December 2022, with a planned touchdown on the moon’s surface by the end of April 2023. The lander reached its furthest point from Earth, approximately 1,376,000 km away, on 20 January. According to ispace, this distance sets a record for a privately developed commercial spacecraft.
The company generates revenue by transporting customer payloads to the moon using its lunar landers. At a progress report meeting held on 28 February, ispace announced that its Mission 2 lander, scheduled for a 2024 launch, will carry payloads from Takasago Thermal Engineering, Euglena, and the Department of Space Science and Engineering at Taiwan’s National Central University.
The 2025 Mission 3 lander is set to transport payloads for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Transport Service (CLPS) as well as Japanese microsatellite start-up Arc Edge Space, Israeli-American organisation Aviv Labs, and US-based CesiumAstro, a company specialising in active phased array communication technology for space and aircraft applications.
By advancing its current Mission 1 and future Missions 2 and 3, ispace aims to establish a robust lunar transportation technology infrastructure.