Team HAKUTO Reaches Major Milestone with Mission Plan Review for the Google Lunar XPRIZE

posted: 2017.11.8



November 8, 2017

Team HAKUTO Reaches Major Milestone with Mission Plan Review for the Google Lunar XPRIZE

Tokyo, Japan – November 8, 2017 — Team HAKUTO, the only Japanese team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, reached a major milestone in their race to the Moon, with an international panel of expert judges visiting their Tokyo headquarters and reviewing a detailed Mission Plan. The panel and HAKUTO also agreed on the parameters by which the Mission would ultimately be evaluated.

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 has signed a ride-share partnership with an India-based Google Lunar XPRIZE team, TeamIndus. HAKUTO’s rover flight model “SORATO” will be mounted on TeamIndus’ lander and launched to the Moon aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s PSLV rocket. The flight model of HAKUTO’s rover is in its final stage of development, and is planned to be shipped to India in December. In alignment with TeamIndus’ launch schedule, team HAKUTO is targeting to land on the Moon, deploy its rover before March 31st, 2018.

“The Google Lunar XPRIZE competition was meant to spark true innovation in space exploration, and we are thrilled to witness this first-hand during the Mission Review with team HAKUTO in Japan,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, Prize Lead for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. “In their continued quest to push the boundaries of privately-financed space exploration, team HAKUTO has illustrated the level of innovation and determination needed to make it to the highest levels of this global competition. We look forward to the successful continuation of this journey.”

Elisabeth Morse, senior spaceflight systems engineer with nearly two decades of experience designing space systems, previously a member of the Mars Curiosity rover development team, and an independent consultant for technical, management and risk issues for NASA, the FAA and the private sector, said “After months of teleconferences with team HAKUTO culminating in this in-depth two-day review of the Team’s Mission Plan, the Google Lunar XPRIZE Judging Panel was impressed by the progress and methodologies being employed by the Team. The Team is clearly on the right track to accomplishing the objectives of the competition.”

“HAKUTO will finalize the rover development and ship the flight model in December. We believe that the decision to stay flexible about the launch date will increase the probability of mission success, and we have always taken the most definite path to accomplish the first private lunar exploration,” said Takeshi Hakamada, the team leader of HAKUTO. “Even though we reached a major milestone today, we will stay focused and continue to work hard to complete the rover development and accomplish the Google Lunar XPRIZE mission. We would like to thank our supporters and partners for their continued support.”

【About HAKUTO】

Team HAKUTO, run by the Japanese startup ispace, Inc., is the only Japanese team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The team is comprised of various members including: the members of ispace, Tohoku University, and Pro-Bono experts from various fields. HAKUTO was awarded a Mobility Milestone Prize from Google Lunar XPRIZE in January 2015.


【About Google Lunar XPRIZE】

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth, before the mission deadline of March 31, 2018. Visit or @GLXP for more information.

【Contact Information】

Muto, HAKUTO PR Office