Moon Minute: Land of the Rising Moon?
Japan, the land of the Rising Sun, is becoming the land of the Rising Moon thanks to Google Lunar XPRIZE team Hakuto, who have made a couple of big splashes last month!
The team has become the fifth #GLXP team with a verified launch agreement, as they signed a contract to have their rover (pictured above) ride along on the Moon lander of fellow Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Indus. The two teams will launch together on an Indian PSLV rocket to the Moon.
The Team Indus lander, and their rover, the ECA. The lander will carry the exploring robots of both Indus and Hakuto. Chair for scale.
And that’s just the beginning. Hakuto’s parent company, ispace, also made news in December, signing a memorandum of understanding with the national space agency of Japan, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). This ispace – JAXA partnership proposes to develop a plan to identify, collect, and utilize lunar water ice on the Moon, in order to create cost-effective rocket fuel. Watch this fantastic video that ispace produced on the subject:
These partnerships are major milestones in the space industry, showing not only cooperation between space companies of different nations (in this case, Japan and India), but also important progress in the cooperation between private space companies and their own governments.
They’re also examples of the exciting new era of space exploration with a re-energized focus on the Moon. Welcome to the new space race!
Author: Nick Azer; Editor: Susan Emmer