Japanese lunar lander company ispace says it’s on track to launch its first mission in 2021 while supporting an American partner on potential NASA missions.
Chinese launch companies are developing new, larger launchers; asteroid mining startup receives angel round funding.
Days after Astrobotic announced its selection of United Launch Alliance to launch its first lunar lander, Japanese lunar lander company ispace says it is modifying its schedule for commercial lunar lander missions.
iSpace became the first Chinese private firm to achieve orbit with Thursday’s successful launch from a national space center in the Gobi Desert.
China has released a set of rules to guide the development of launch vehicles in the growing commercial sector as companies continue to progress and new actors emerge.
Launch firm iSpace in early June will attempt to become the first Chinese private company to place a satellite in orbit, following failed launches by two competitors.
Chinese startup Linkspace succeeded with a vertical takeoff and landing test late last month on the same day fellow private launch firm OneSpace failed to reach orbit with its OS-m rocket. Also that week, two other Chinese companies declared success with engine tests as they push to develop new launch vehicles.
As an Israeli-built lunar lander makes its first post-launch maneuvers, a Japanese company announced new partnerships in its plans to mount missions to the moon.
Chinese private companies OneSpace and iSpace are making progress with plans to attempt their first orbital launches in the first half of 2019.
The organization that helped NASA’s Apollo spacecraft land on the moon a half-century ago is now working with an industry team that includes a Japanese lunar lander company to propose a commercial return to the lunar surface.
A Japanese company that has roots in the former Google Lunar X Prize competition announced Sept. 26 that it has selected SpaceX to launch a pair of missions to the moon in 2020 and 2021.
Chinese launch startup OneSpace successfully performed its first launch from a national launch site Sept.7, following a similar feat by competitor iSpace days earlier.
Days after the decade-old Google Lunar X Prize competition expired without a winner, the X Prize Foundation announced it would “relaunch” the competition, albeit without a prize purse for now.