Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Nakano-ku, Tokyo; President: Hirohiko Ejiri; hereinafter "Kurita") is pleased to announce that we participate as a supporting company in HAKUTO-R, a private lunar exploration program by ispace Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, Founder & CEO: Takeshi Hakamada; hereinafter "ispace").
HAKUTO-R is a program overseen by ispace that integrates two lunar exploration misions planned to execute by 2024. Under this program, ispace has already developed its own lander and lunar rover, launched a lunar landing mission in December 2022, and attempted another lunar landing in April 2023. Furthermore, ispace has a plan to launch a lunar exploration mission in 20241. In order to realize their "Moon Valley 2040" concept2, ispace aims to search for water resources on the lunar surface and build space infrastructure utilizing its resources in the future. Kurita agrees with this concept and has signed an agreement with ispace to be a supporting company for HAKUTO-R, as the initial stage to realize the program.
For more than 70 years since its founding in 1949, the Kurita Group has consistently developed businesses relating to water and engaged in efforts to achieve the realization of its corporate philosophy "Study the properties of water, master them, and we will create an environment in which nature and humanity are in harmony." By applying advanced technologies in the water treatment field building by our accumulation of know-how and insights into the space exploration field, Kurita aims to develop the technologies, including energy production (hydrogen generation) on the lunar surface utilizing water resources implicated possibility that may exist on the moon, for generation and recovery of water that can contribute to the sustainable construction of space infrastructure. Then, by utilizing expertise acquired in the space field, we will create and provide solutions that can contribute to solving social and industrial issues on Earth, aiming to contribute for the realization of a sustainable society.
Hiroyuki Suzuki, Executive General Manager of Innovation Division at Kurita said the following: "Water is essential not only for human life but also for industrial infrastructure. For the space industry under harsh conditions not existing on Earth to accelerate from now on, Kurita will develop innovative technologies for the infrastructure of the space industry based on our accumulated knowledge of water and make practical use of them to realize a sustainable society."
Takeshi Hakamada, Representative Director, Founder & CEO of ispace, commented: "We are delighted to welcome Kurita's joining in HAKUTO-R. Kurita's excellent water treatment facilities, which already have actual experiences used for the space industry, would be crucial technologies for using water resources on the moon in the future. We hope that Kurita's participation in HAKUTO-R will act as a catalyst for taking a new step toward the development of technologies and businesses for use in space and on the moon, and the experiences and technologies accumulated by the project will lead to successful results for giving back on earth."
1Assumed as of October 2023.
2ispace's Moon Valley 2040 concept that will be 1,000 people living on the moon and 10,000 people visiting there a year in 2040.