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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Japan's ispace to list shares in Tokyo ahead of moon landing

IPO set for April 12; probe scheduled to reach lunar surface later in month

Tokyo-based ispace aims to become the first commercial space company to land a probe on the moon. (Illustration courtesy of ispace)

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan's ispace Inc., aiming to be the first commercial company to land a probe on the moon, announced on Wednesday an initial public offering of its shares.

The start-up is authorised to list 200 million shares and will debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's growth section on April 12, according to a release from the exchange, which lists the company's business as lunar development and transportation services.

The public offering will be 24.7 million shares with an overallotment option of another 1.2 million. The Nikkei newspaper said the stock may be priced at 244 yen, with the deal valuing the company at 19 billion yen ($138.12 million).

In December the company's HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket which took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying two robotic rovers.

Tokyo-based ispace gave a mission update last month, saying the probe had reached its furthest distance from Earth and was due to touch down on the moon's surface in late April. 

The company has a contract with NASA to ferry payloads to the moon from 2025 and is aiming to build a permanently staffed lunar colony by 2040.

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