Japanese startup ispace has announced it will deliver lunar payloads to the moon from Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The mission, scheduled for 2022, is based on a Hakuto-R lander and SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. It will be the UAE̵
Under a contract with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, ispace will deliver a 22-pound, AI-powered rover called Rashid to the lunar surface. Equipped with a Mission Control Space Services flight computer, Rashid will explore and identify areas on the moon.
Rashid is joined by technology from three private Canadian companies, Mission Control Space Services, Canadensys and NGC. These companies all have separate science missions and are funded through the CSA’s Capability Demonstration program, part of the agency’s $150 million Lunar Exploration Accelerator program.
ispace says it will bring cameras on its lunar journey, not just to record the journey, but to demonstrate an autonomous flight program of the NGC. During the lunar mission, ispace will provide communications and power to Rashid and other devices.
Once ispace completes its mission in 2022, it will prepare for a lunar mission in 2023 with a baseball-sized Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) rover. The round rover will roll around the lunar surface to take photos, shoot video and collect samples.
Source: ispace via Japan Times, TechCrunch