The Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE Team HAKUTO and The Asahi Shimbun Company Sign Media Partnership

posted: 2017.3.21



March 21st, 2017

ispace, inc.
The Asahi Shimbun Company

The Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE Team HAKUTO and
The Asahi Shimbun Company Sign Media Partnership

Tokyo, Japan – March 21, 2016 — Team HAKUTO, the only Japanese team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and The Asahi Shimbun Company announced today that they have signed a media partnership on March 20th 2017.

Team HAKUTO, run by the Japanese startup ispace inc., is comprised of various members including the members of ispace, faculty members and students at Tohoku University, and Pro-Bono experts from various fields.

HAKUTO is competing for the US$30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, an international lunar robotic competition that challenges privately funded teams to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the competition, a team must successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface, travel at least 500 meters and transmit high-definition video and images back to Earth, before the end of 2017. HAKUTO’s rover flight model “SORATO” will be launched at the end of 2017 from India aboard Indian Space Research Organization’s PSLV rocket. The rover is expected to land on the Moon in January 2018.

This media partnership was signed upon The Asahi Shimbun’s belief that HAKUTO’s endeavor would lead to the advancement of planetary exploration and space resource development that will shape the next generation of the space industry. From today, The Asahi Shimbun will not only report HAKUTO’s activities through its paper and digital platform, but also support the development of the NewSpace industry as a whole.

To collect additional funding required for the launch, HAKUTO is currently calling for supporters through its crowdfunding campaign on “A-port,” a platform owned by The Asahi Shimbun Company:

【Takeshi Hakamada – Team Leader, HAKUTO】

“This media partnership with The Asahi Shimbun would attract many more supporters to HAKUTO. We believe that an increased awareness of our endeavor will inspire the Japanese society to take on more challenges. We are excited to work with The Asahi Shimbun who has always supported ambitious endeavors.”

【Tatsuya Fujii – Board Director, Advertising, The Asahi Shimbun Company】

“We truly support HAKUTO’s participation in the ambitious international exploration race on the Moon. We learned that, although numerous teams have dropped out of the race due to fundraising or technical difficulties, HAKUTO has successfully maintained and proved the high standard of the Japanese technology – this gives all of us hope and energy to move forward. We have always supported such ambitious projects. In 1955, our company was the first to communicate about and support Japan’s first Antarctic scientific expedition. This time, The Asahi Shimbun would like to support HAKUTO’s endeavor to explore outer space, the new frontier.”

【HAKUTO’s History and Schedule】

Since its establishment in 2010, HAKUTO’s ambition has been supported by investment from supportive individuals and pocket money of volunteers, including our team leader, Takeshi Hakamada. After receiving the Milestone Prize in January 2015, we began to receive tremendous support from au, IHI, Zoff, JAL, Recruit Technologies, Suzuki, Cemedine and many other partners. We have now entered the final stage of the race after 7 years of a challenging journey. In January 2017, XPRIZE announced the race finalists: SpaceIL (Israel), Moon Express (US), Synergy Moon (International), TeamIndus (India), and HAKUTO (Japan). HAKUTO is now assembling the flight model “SORATO,” aiming for completion in April followed by several technical and environmental testing. SORATO will be shipped to India in August, and will be launched to the Moon in December aboard Indian Space Research Organization’s PSLV rocket.

Reference URLs

Google Lunar XPRIZE:

【Contact Information】