A Tokyo-based lunar robotics maker has raised a total of ¥10.2 billion or $90 million for its space mission.
This space mission would allow companies to project advertisements through a platform acting like a billboard on the moon.
Japanese Startup To Launch Autonomous Moon Lander In 2019
iSpace Inc. will spend funds on developing and launching an autonomous moon lander, a specialized spacecraft capable of conducting lunar landings without a crew present on the flight. It will take off in 2019, with an anticipated touchdown after a year of space travel.
The Japanese startup has yet to announce a driver for the vessel. It is still looking for an individual who shall be awarded $20 million should a successful moon landing and exploration be delivered. The offer is posted on Lunar Xprize by Google.
Several industry leaders such as Tokyo Broadcasting Holdings, the parent company of leading media networks, and Japan Airlines, the country's second-largest commercial carrier are financing the mission. Government-funded organizations have also pitched in, with the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan placing the largest investment amounting to ¥3.5 billion or around $31 million.
Lunar Advertising To Feature Non-Conventional Billboards
Following the spacecraft's safe landing, a structure serving a purpose similar to a regular billboard will be set up on the moon. It will display an image of the Earth as the background for projected company logos. iSpace plans to charge companies for advertising on these platforms as well as for embedding their logos on vessels.
It remains unclear whether a billboard structure would really be used in the mission, however. While iSpace says that advertisements will be projected on the spacecraft, it will also offer "projection mapping service," a small billboard on the surface of the moon.
The company expects lunar advertising to attract a wide market of interested companies, although, there is a possibility it would fall short like the magnetic space junk cleaner launched in December 2016. Instead of removing garbage from the Earth's orbit, it brought junk down to the ground as it crashed into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Mission Advances iSpace Envisioned Moon Settlement
Also, iSpace plans that from 2021, the mission's lander will make a return to the moon. It will carry a set of rovers that will explore the surface for water deposits. This future mission will realize the startup's plans to convert water into a hydrogen-based fuel that could sustain a potential lunar settlement.
Currently, the Japanese government is likewise involved in another lunar project. It will join other countries such as United States of America and Russia in the construction of an outer space facility that will revolve around the moon.