ispace just raised $90 million to launch two private moon missions by 2020

Japanese company ispace has raised $90.2 million in a Series A funding round, an amount it’s calling the “largest ever” Series A in commercial space financing. The funding comes from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Development Bank of Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Konika Minolta and others, and will help the company continue its progress towards a very ambitious target: Launching not one, but two lunar missions within the next three years.

ispace intends to launch its first Moon mission, aptly dubbed ‘Mission 1,’ by the fourth quarter of 2019, and then to do a second by the end of 2020. The first will put its lander into orbit around the Moon for observation, and then the second will see the same lander descend to the Moon’s surface, where it will deploy mapping rovers to conduct further experimentation.This Japanese private space venture is currently in the running for the Google Lunar XPrize for lunar missions, and anticipate...