Payload: Q&A with ispace – U.S. CEO Ronald Garan

The countdown has started on ispace’s NASA-backed date with the Moon in June 2025, and the US team has locked itself in a room this week to game out the details.

The company began a four-day exercise on Monday akin to a military-style wargame that will help the company zero in on when the spacecraft will be ready to launch on its mission for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program and how changing different variables would impact the timeline, Ronald Garan, a former astronaut who became CEO of ispace US last month, told Payload.

“We locked eight people in a room for eight hours a day, including third party contractors,” Garan said. “We’re looking at critical path analysis and the difference between the target date and the scheduled date…We’re going through exercises to see how we can reduce or eliminate the gap and iterate on different critical path analysis to see what’s the long pole in the tent [and]…look for ways to pull that in.”