Japan Airlines Engineering Company Offers Technical Support for HAKUTO-R Lunar Missions
ispace, a lunar exploration company, announced today that its shareholder Japan Airlines (JAL) will provide a facility for the assembly, integration and testing of its lunar landers (Moon landing spacecraft) starting from October 2018 through the second lunar mission of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Program.
The facility is operated by JAL’s 100%-owned subsidiary Japan Airlines Engineering Company (JALEC) and used for the maintenance of the JAL Group’s aircraft. Named Japan Airlines Engine Maintenance Center, the facility is located next to Narita International Airport, also known as Tokyo Narita Airport, in Chiba, Japan.
Beginning October 1, 2018, JALEC began providing a 140-square meter working space within the Engine Maintenance Center for the development of HAKUTO-R’s landers. JALEC will also provide technical assistance to ispace’s engineers in some areas of the assembly of the landers, such as welding and quality management.
Last month, ispace announced its first two lunar missions will take place in mid-2020 and mid-2021 under the Program Name “HAKUTO-R”. ispace announced their landers for these missions will launch as secondary payloads on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The first mission will send a lander to orbit the Moon and the second mission will perform a soft lunar landing and the deployment of rovers to explore the lunar surface.
In December 2017, JAL joined ispace’s Series A funding round in which the company raised $94.5 million USD—the largest Series A on record in Japan and among the largest in the global space industry. The funding is being used for the development of the landers and launch costs for the first two missions.
JAL aspires to enter the space industry through the creation of a new business for space travel. Likewise, ispace’s vision is to extend human presence beyond Earth. Technical experts from both companies will work closely together to push the boundaries of what humans can achieve in the exploration of the universe.
HAKUTO-R Lunar Lander & Lunar Rover
JALEC Engine Maintenance Center JALEC Engineer Welding JAL Aircraft Engine
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