Help for Low Credit Scores
All Credit Cards
Find the Credit Card for You
Best Credit Cards
Best Rewards Credit Cards
Best Travel Credit Cards
Best 0% APR Credit Cards
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses
Best Credit Cards to Build Credit
Find the Best Personal Loan for You
Best Personal Loans
Best Debt Consolidation Loans
Best Loans to Refinance Credit Card Debt
Best Loans with Fast Funding
Best Small Personal Loans
Best Large Personal Loans
Best Personal Loans to Apply Online
Best Student Loan Refinance
Find the Savings Account for You
Best High Yield Savings Accounts
Best Big Bank Savings Accounts
Best Big Bank Checking Accounts
Best No Fee Checking Accounts
No Overdraft Fee Checking Accounts
Best Checking Account Bonuses
Best Money Market Accounts
Best Credit Unions
Best Mortgages for Small Down Payment
Best Mortgages for No Down Payment
Best Mortgages with No Origination Fee
Best Mortgages for Average Credit Score
Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Affording a Mortgage
Best Life Insurance
Best Homeowners Insurance
Best Renters Insurance
Best Car Insurance
All Credit Monitoring
Best Credit Monitoring Services
Best Identity Theft Protection
How to Boost Your Credit Score
Credit Repair Services
All Personal Finance
Best Budgeting Apps
Best Expense Tracker Apps
Best Money Transfer Apps
Best Resale Apps and Sites
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Apps
Best Debt Relief
All Small Business
Best Small Business Savings Accounts
Best Small Business Checking Accounts
Best Credit Cards for Small Business
Best Small Business Loans
Best Tax Software for Small Business
Best Tax Software
Best Tax Software for Small Businesses
All Help for Low Credit Scores
Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Best Debt Consolidation Loans for Bad Credit
Personal Loans if You Don't Have Credit
Best Credit Cards for Building Credit
Personal Loans for 580 Credit Score or Lower
Personal Loans for 670 Credit Score or Lower
Best Mortgages for Bad Credit
Best Hardship Loans
How to Boost Your Credit Score
Best IRA Accounts
Best Roth IRA Accounts
Best Investing Apps
Best Free Stock Trading Platforms
CNBC's Investing in Space newsletter offers a view into the business of space exploration and privatization, delivered straight to your inbox. CNBC's Michael Sheetz reports and curates the latest news, investor updates and exclusive interviews on the most important companies reaching new heights. Sign up to receive future editions.
It seems like everyone wants to go to the moon these days, with serious lunar programs underway in China, India, Japan and the United States. One company is pushing to tap two of those markets: Tokyo-based lunar lander company ispace is rebooting its U.S. subsidiary, aiming to be a key transportation provider in the nascent moon business.
In Denver, Colorado, ispace is cutting the ribbons today on a new U.S. headquarters. The company's invested over $40 million to date in the subsidiary, which allows ispace to sell to NASA – one of the biggest sources of moon money currently – without violating export control regulations.
While the Japanese side of the company is working on flying its Series 1 lunar lander again after April's crunching first mission, the U.S. side is developing a separate lander it's now calling Apex 1.0, scheduled to launch on the company's third overall mission.
Ron Garan, named CEO of ispace U.S. in June, is a former NASA astronaut and previously served as senior vice president of high-altitude balloon company World View. Garan's leading the reboot of the U.S. division. Though ispace established a Denver office in 2020, the division's been without a leader for about a year, Garan told me.
We had about 50 employees when I took over. We're over 85 right now, and we'll be over 100 by the end of the year, Garan said.
While Garan said ispace U.S. is making tremendous progress, he admitted that it's been a lot of work due to technical, cultural and organizational challenges. The company's third mission was scheduled to launch in 2025 but is slipping to 2026.
The new Apex 1.0 lander is replacing its previously planned Series 2 lander, Garan said. Apex 1.0 is designed to carry as much as 300 kilograms of payload to the surface of the moon. That's lower than the 500 kilograms of payload the initial Series 2 design targeted, but still 10 times the capability of ispace's Series 1 lander.
We're really committed to helping to create this commercial market, which is going to be absolutely critical to achieving the vision that we want to achieve on the moon, Garan said. We're building what are effectively prototypes right now, while in parallel developing the production manufacturing capability to be able to do this on a regular basis.
The U.S. ispace team is one of several companies that have won contracts from NASA to deliver science and research cargo to the moon's surface under the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. In the year ahead, three other U.S. companies – Intuitive Machines, Astrobotic and Firefly – expect to launch competing missions to the moon's surface. But Garan emphasized he and ispace are rooting for all the other CLPS players too, because each company's success further opens the market for lunar services.
Part of the reason why there's not excessive demand is because it hasn't really been done yet. We haven't really demonstrated the ability to take commercial payloads to the lunar surface. We're on the verge of that happening, Garan said.
The only way that we get to the point where we're able to have a permanent human presence, able to have a significant number of people living and working on the moon, is to spark a commercial market. We have a lot of companies out there right now that would love to do stuff on the lunar surface or a lunar orbit, but they're not willing to make the investment because it really hasn't been demonstrated yet, Garan added.
Got a confidential news tip? We want to hear from you.
Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services.
© 2023 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal
Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.
Data also provided by