Team HAKUTO Continues Pursuit of Private Lunar Exploration, Considers Possibility of New Lunar XPRIZE

posted: 2018.1.24



January 24, 2018

Team HAKUTO Continues Pursuit of Private Lunar Exploration, Considers Possibility of New Lunar XPRIZE

Tokyo, Japan – January 24, 2018 – XPRIZE, the organizer of the world’s first private lunar exploration race “Google Lunar XPRIZE,” concluded on January 23, 2018, that the lunar competition will end on March 31, 2018. The race’s sole Japanese contestant HAKUTO, after considering every possible option, concluded that the team is unable to complete the mission by the deadline.

Earlier this week, members from team HAKUTO made an onsite visit to the XPRIZE HQ in Los Angeles to discuss several scenarios including the possibility of a deadline extension. Unfortunately, the deadline for the Google Lunar XPRIZE will not be extended. However, following HAKUTO’s visit, XPRIZE is now exploring ways to support private lunar exploration beyond the competition, including a possible announcement of a new Lunar XPRIZE.

HAKUTO is supported by amazing people. We are supported by 3,500+ dedicated crew members in the HAKUTO SUPPORTERS CLUB, backers from 4 crowdfunding campaigns, 31 partner companies including our official partner KDDI and corporate partners IHI, Zoff/Intermestic, Japan Airlines, Recruit Technologies, Suzuki, and Cemedine. We are also supported by the ambassadors of auXHAKUTO MOON CHALLENGE, investors, companies and factories who supported each development phase of SORATO, the groups who helped organize our promotional events, journalists who told our story to the world, the families and friends of HAKUTO members, and all of the incredible people who continuously encouraged us during the most challenging times. HAKUTO could not have come this far if it weren’t for each and every one of you. We sincerely thank you for standing by us for the last 7 years, and we apologize for failing to meet your expectation to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Additionally, HAKUTO would like to express our respect and appreciation for XPRIZE, our competitors and friends who fought with us during the last 10 years to catalyze the creation of a new space industry. The journey has never been an easy one, but we should all be proud for opening up new possibilities for the future of space exploration.

Our pursuit of private lunar exploration continues.

“Turn a dream into reality.” We believe that, through our 7-year journey pursuing the Google Lunar XPRIZE, we were able to show the world how close a small private team can come to accomplishing lunar exploration. Through the development of SORATO, HAKUTO indeed left its footprint on the development of the next generation of lunar exploration and the business model for commercial space exploration. We believe that these accomplishments will prove to be valuable know-hows for the future of space exploration.

We will continue to share updates regarding our future activities. Thank you very much for your continued support.

Comment by Takeshi Hakamada, leader of HAKUTO

“It has been 7 years since HAKUTO officially entered the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition in September 2010. We are certainly disappointed that we could not win the competition, but over the years, we have overcome numerous obstacles and pushed our way forward step-by-step. We would like to thank all of our supporters who have encouraged us along this journey. Our eyes remain fixed on the Moon as we’re committed to achieving the world’s first private lunar exploration.”

【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】

Horiguchi, HAKUTO PR Office