In a significant development within the realm of space exploration, mu Space and Advanced Technology Co., Ltd. (mu Space) has announced the signing of two memorandums of understanding with ispace inc. (ispace), a pioneering private lunar robotic exploration company headquartered in Japan. The collaboration, unveiled on February 1, 2024, marks a pivotal first step towards joint lunar missions between the two entities.
As per the agreements, negotiations are underway for forthcoming payload services to both lunar orbit and surface. Additionally, the parties have committed to a strategic collaboration aimed at advancing the cislunar satellite market. This entails coordinated efforts to furnish transportation and deployment services for lunar satellite payload customers, alongside the supply of requisite satellite components.
A key aspect of the partnership involves joint market development initiatives in Japan and Thailand, aimed at expediting the frequency of lunar orbiting satellite missions, including payloads for small satellites and lunar landers weighing up to 100kg.
Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, mu Space has emerged as a prominent aerospace manufacturer and satellite internet service provider in Southeast Asia. The company boasts a track record of four successful sub-orbital missions spanning from 2018 to 2020.
Presently, mu Space is gearing up to furnish satellites and equipment for missions slated from 2024 onwards. Meanwhile, ispace, headquartered in Tokyo, achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first lunar transportation service provider globally to successfully launch a lunar lander in December 2022. The company has a series of missions scheduled for 2024, 2026, and 2027.
Expressing his enthusiasm, mu Space CEO and CTO, James Yenbamroong, remarked, “I am delighted to share the news of mu Space’s partnership with ispace. This marks our first lunar mission, demonstrating our vision and commitment to achieving a lunar presence by 2028. In collaboration with ispace capital, we are set to prove key technologies and build the foundation for future lunar endeavors. This partnership is also a testament to elevating space technology in Asia.”
Takeshi Hakamada, Founder and CEO of ispace, emphasized the significance of the agreements, stating, “Utilizing highly maneuverable lunar satellites for communications networks, scientific research, and a host of other applications is essential to a long-term human presence on the Moon. I am pleased to announce the agreements with mu Space that will forge new markets in Southeast Asia and around the globe for lunar satellite missions as the building blocks of the cislunar economy. It is another step in realizing ispace’s vision of ‘Expand our planet. Expand our future.’”