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JAL in alliance with Japanese private space company

Japan Airlines has committed to invest in Japanese space transport business Ispace, which is attempting to launch two missions to the moon by 2020.

JAL says it has agreed to a “capital and business alliance” with the company, in addition to its sponsorship of the Hakuto lunar exploration team managed by Ispace.

The Hakuto team is competing for the Google Lunar X prize, which is offering $30 million to the first privately-funded team to land a rover on the moon that can travel more than 500m.

JAL says that besides contributing capital to the company, it will work with Ispace on transportation, maintenance and operation of the space travel business.

Ispace raised $90.2 million in series A funding this month, which it says is the largest fundraising in the commercial space sector.

The move by JAL to invest in Ispace follows its announcement last week of a $10 million investment in prospective supersonic aircraft manufacturer Boom Supersonic. Under that deal it also made pre-order commitments for 20 aircraft.

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