In a new space economy where the supply chain is evolving at rapid pace, ispace is placing itself at the center of it.
Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2010, ispace is a privately owned company who’s mission is to facilitate the development of a moon-based economy.
The Middle Man
Space exploration and development is expensive. Owning all the components necessary to get to space has, as a result, led to the development of different needs post launch. For example, what do you do when you actually get to the moon?
In comes ispace. The company offers landers and rovers for space explorations and is already the most well-funded space exploration company raising a total of 94 million dollars and counting. Partnering with an all-star supporting cast including Draper, Spaceflight Industries and General Atomics EMS, the Tokyo-based company has done a fantastic job at positioning itself for massive government and private contracts.
In fact, the company is already planning two missions with SpaceX in 2020 and 2021.
The mixture of their world-class team of engineers, their strategic corporate partnerships and their CEO’s, Takeshi Hakamada, ability to raise capital at scale is certainly impressive but what is the ultimate goal of ispace?
We live in unstable times. Global warming is changing out planet’s topography daily. One of the most troubling consequences of these changes is the drying up of Earth’s drinkable water supplies. A world drought is not so unthinkable anymore, if anything it’s even likely. Watch Blue Gold: World Water Wars to really drive this point home.
That’s why ispace’s ultimate goal of mining the untapped water resources below the Moon’s surface is so interesting. First and foremost, the startup wants to mine the water to be able to break it down in order to extract hydrogen and oxygen which can produce fuel. This fuel supply would vastly increase the potential pace of development for Space operations. No longer being reliant on Earth for fuel and water is the first step to creating a sustainable colony on the Moon.
In the video above, you’ll find ispace’s vision for the year 2040, in which they “believe that the Moon will support a population of 1,000 with 10,000 people visiting every year.”
This idealist scenario is definitely worth getting excited about however, there also seems to be the potential for another business model to arise as well. Going back to the situation Earth finds itself in with regards to its water supplies. It does not seem completely unfathomable that the Moon’s untapped water supplies becomes a lucrative, albeit divisive, means of leveraging the potential water wars of tomorrow.
Conspiracy-esque theories set aside, ispace is servicing a need. And this need will only grow with the ever expanding business of space.
Stay tuned for the Japanese company’s 2020 Moon mission with SpaceX for a taste of what’s to come.
Learn more about ispace