Yokogawa to join HAKUTO-R commercial lunar exploration program

June 20, 2022
The goal is developing equipment to explore lunar water resources for industrial use.

Yokogawa announced that it has signed a Supporting Company Agreement with ispace, inc. (ispace) to join HAKUTO-R, the company’s lunar exploration program.

The HAKUTO-R program includes ispace’s first two lunar missions: Mission 1, a soft lunar landing planned to launch in 2022, and Mission 2, a lunar landing and rover deployment planned to launch in 2024. Through these missions, the HAKUTO-R program will lay the groundwork for high-frequency lunar transportation and lunar-data collection. Yokogawa Electric has agreed with ispace to participate in these missions as a supporting company.

The partners expect that the electrolyzation of water mined on the moon will be used to produce the hydrogen and oxygen needed for fuel and to support life. With this agreement, Yokogawa will leverage knowledge gained through the HAKUTO-R program and its own proven industrial technologies to develop measurement technology that can be effective in searching for lunar water resources for industrial use, as well as control and other technologies necessary for the hydrogen value chain, and thereby help to realize the infrastructure necessary for lunar economic activities, they note.

Satoru Kurosu, general manager of Yokogawa Electric’s Space Business Development Office, said, “Amid rising interest in the space business and commercial lunar use, we have positioned space as one of the areas for exploration in our long-term management framework. As co-members of the Lunar Industry Vision Council, Yokogawa and ispace have a common goal of building an internationally competitive foundation for the industry. And I am confident that the technology necessary for developing a supply chain for locally produced and consumed hydrogen in the extreme environment of the moon will also contribute toward a sustainable society on Earth.”