iSpace picks up SpaceX talent to lead US lander program at new US offices

The former Google Lunar XPrize participant iSpace announced today that they will be opening new offices in the US. The new offices will be located in Denver, an already booming aerospace hub. The goal is for iSpace’s new offices to house a full engineering team to support NASA’s Artemis program through their Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

Japanese-headquartered iSpace used a program called SelectUSA, a program within the US Department of Commerce, to help foreign companies interested in moving into the US market. After a list of possible choices, iSpace chose Denver. They chose the area for its rich talent.

I couldn’t be more excited to work closer with our friends and partners in the US to contribute to the success of the Artemis program and the formation of a lunar economy. We deeply appreciate the support we received at the state and federal level with our US entry and selection of Colorado, which not only has a dynamic aerospace ecosystem and an abundance of talent, but is also becoming a hub for lunar landers and ISRU technology.

Kyle Acierno, CEO of iSpace Technologies US

Plans to support US Artemis program

iSpace has partnered with Massachusetts-based Draper in the CLPS program. If selected for the program, iSpace will be their design firm. Kursten O’Neill will lead this engineering team for US landers. O’Neill managed production of Falcon rockets at SpaceX for seven years and will be leading the development for their next-generation lunar lander to replace their current one.

I truly believe exploring the Moon, Mars, and beyond is our destiny as a human race; the uniting factor to further our presence among the stars. By joining iSpace to lead our US Lander mission to the Moon, I’m excited to bring together the best and brightest to innovate, create, and inspire an even larger shift in aerospace advancement and exploration.

Kursten O’Neill, iSpace’s US lander program director

Hakuta was the name of their team from the Google XPrize competition. Their current lander is called Hakuta-R and has two missions planned to launch on Falcon 9s to the moon. Their next lander will be a cost-effective lander that will be able to deliver payloads to the surface. iSpace’s first mission lander is planned to finish design this year and begin assembly in early 2021.

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