Corporate Partner of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Program
TOKYO – August 22, 2019 – Suzuki Motor Corporation (“Suzuki”), a Japanese multinational automaker, and ispace, inc. (“ispace”), a lunar exploration company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, are pleased to jointly announce that Suzuki has become a Corporate Partner of HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.
As a key component of this partnership, Suzuki will contribute its expertise in structural analysis, which the automaker uses in the testing of its automobiles, for the development of the HAKUTO-R lunar lander, including the lander’s landing gear, such as the shock-absorption system of the lander’s legs, among other major parts of the structure.
The HAKUTO-R spacecraft must be small and lightweight to decrease the launch cost. However, when reducing size and weight, several measures are required to maintain sufficient strength in the structural design. Leveraging Suzuki’s specialty in the manufacturing of small and lightweight, yet safe and reliable vehicles, the automaker is well equipped to support the structural development of HAKUTO-R’s lunar lander.
To design the legs of the lunar lander for a successful landing, it is necessary to analyze all landing scenarios ahead of the mission to guarantee that the lander can survive the impact. Suzuki will play a key role in the design of the lander’s legs by supporting the analysis of the landing simulations and testing.
By supporting the design of the HAKUTO-R spacecraft, Suzuki will contribute to the lunar economy, in alignment with ispace’s vision of expanding the Earth’s economy to the Moon and, ultimately, expanding human presence into outer space.