Epiroc sets sights on the Moon, partners with ispace for lunar missions
31 Mar 2023
Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment giant to provide technology and solutions for commercial Moon missions by Japanese lunar exploration company
Mining and infrastructure equipment major Epiroc has taken the first step to venture into extra terrestrial operations with the signing of a long-term collaboration agreement with lunar resource development company ispace.
The agreement will involve Epiroc contributing technology and solutions for commercial Moon missions.
Explaining the agreement, a statement from Epiroc said that Japan’s ispace has a “long-term vision of supporting human life by providing lunar transportation and gaining a better understanding of the Moon’s environment and available resources”.
Initially, ispace will explore the lunar surface and collect relevant data from the Moon. As part of that effort, ispace and Epiroc are partnering to develop technology and commercial solutions to be used as early as 2024, said the Swedish equipment maker’s statement.
Helena Hedblom, president and CEO, Epiroc, said: “Epiroc is very excited to collaborate with ispace to develop and provide technology and solutions together to begin exploring the Moon’s surface with the ultimate goal of supporting and expanding human life in a sustainable way. We look forward to our continued collaboration to make the mission successful.”
Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace, Inc, said: “I am very pleased to sign this agreement with Epiroc. ispace is pioneering the Cislunar ecosystem to open new opportunities for governments and industry players. Our collaboration to develop technology and solutions in the field of space resources in a sustainable and responsible manner for future lunar missions is another step to realizing ispace’s vision.”
Epiroc signed the agreement with ispace, Inc. and its Luxembourg-based subsidiary ispace EUROPE S.A. More information on Epiroc’s involvement in ispace’s lunar missions will follow over time, said Epiroc in its statement.
As a point of interest, ispace is also the partner of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the first mission to the Moon from the United Arab Emirates, as well as the first of its kind by an Arab country. The mission by the UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is sending a lunar rover named Rashid to the Moon aboard ispace's Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander.