ispace-US and Rhea Space Activity Sign Payload Services Agreement Aimed at Expanding Deep Space Technological Capabilities

Ron Garan (second from right), CEO of ispace technologies U.S. shakes hands with Samuel Lee (third from left), chief financial officer, Rhea Space Activity, at the ispace-U.S. grand opening on Sept. 28, 2023

Agreement Marks First Commercial Payload Rideshare for ispace-U.S. Mission 3

DENVER, Colo. – ispace technologies U.S., inc. (ispace-U.S.), an American lunar exploration company, announced the signing of a payload services agreement with Rhea Space Activity (RSA) to deliver autonomous guidance and navigation technology to lunar orbit aboard ispace-U.S.’s Mission 3 scheduled for 2026.

This agreement will foster collaboration to test RSA’s Jervis Autonomy Module (JAM), a novel autonomous navigation technology, which recently received funding through a grant by NASA’s TechFlights Program.

JAM provides spacecraft with autonomous guidance and navigation, allowing it to determine its orbit in space from images of celestial objects rather than contacting other satellites or ground stations on Earth. JAM can tell the spacecraft its location by taking as little as a few pictures of the Moon, planets, comets, asteroids, or other satellites every twelve hours to accurately continue autonomous navigation.

Based on the agreement, ispace-US will host two of RSA’s JAM modules on two separate communications satellites in lunar orbit that will communicate with the Apex 1.0 Lunar Lander. RSA’s JAM modules will be flown in conjunction with ispace-U.S.’s contribution to the Draper-led Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative to deliver Artemis science investigations to the far side of the Moon in 2026.

“I am thrilled about this collaboration between RSA and ispace-US for our JAM to be flown to the lunar orbit.  JAM allows for deep space and lunar missions to autonomously maintain a desired trajectory by celestial navigation which is 100% independent of the NASA Deep Space Network,” said Shawn Usman, astrophysicist and chief executive officer, RSA. “The Deep Space Network is a huge financial barrier to entry for deep space missions. JAM democratizes access to deep space, and we are excited for Draper’s CLPS initiative to be the first of many customers using our product to navigate in the Cislunar environment.”

 “The collaboration between RSA and ispace-U.S. marks the first commercial rideshare for our series of upcoming lunar missions,” said Ron Garan, chief executive officer, ispace technologies U.S. “We look forward to hosting additional commercial payloads on future missions to bolster the U.S. commercial industry’s expansion to the moon.”

The agreement between ispace-U.S. and RSA was finalized in September 2023, and timely disclosure notifications were made to the appropriate regulatory authorities. Since then, the two companies worked to ensure all remaining payload requirements were met.

The Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, led by Draper, will land in the Schrödinger Basin, a large impact crater near the Moon’s South Pole, and is expected to launch in 2026.

The flight will deliver multiple payloads of scientific equipment to measure the Moon’s seismic and thermomechanical activity, and capture details about the magnetic field, electrical activity, heat flow and surface weathering.

ispace’s APEX 1.0 lander, designed to be one of the most capable lunar vehicles available, serves as the company’s next-generation lander. APEX 1.0 leverages lessons learned from the company’s previous space-proven lander series and delivers enhanced capabilities. With 300 kg of payload capacity in this first iteration, APEX 1.0 will deliver 10x more payload to the lunar surface than earlier missions. ispace plans to progressively increase the APEX series payload capacity to meet evolving customer requirements, eventually reaching 500 kg of capacity.

With dedicated satellite bays, APEX 1.0 is designed to deliver relay satellites to support direct-to-Earth communications from the far side of the Moon. This highly capable design also provides APEX 1.0 with the ability to transport orbital, stationery, and rover payloads to either the near or far side of the Moon. With advanced structural durability, reliability, and manufacturability, APEX 1.0 is making consistent quality and performance at scale possible.


About ispace technologies U.S.

ispace – U.S. is an American lunar exploration company providing transportation and infrastructure capabilities from Earth to lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon for government and commercial customers. ispace believes that the utilization of lunar resources is the catalyst to enabling human permanence and economic opportunity on and around the Moon and is committed to achieving this goal. The company’s U.S. headquarters serves as the central location for the development of its APEX 1.0 lander, which is being designed, manufactured, and launched in the United States. In partnership with Draper, this lander will deliver a suite of multiple NASA-sponsored science payloads to the lunar surface as part of the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Initiative.

ispace – U.S. CEO, Ron Garan, is a former NASA Astronaut and a leading voice in the space industry. His executive team includes professionals that have served at the highest levels of the United States space program. For more information, visit


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Miri Casey

Communications | ispace technologies, U.S., inc.