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Innovation Awards Finalists 2023

JEC World

Lunar Lander with Carbon Monocoque Structure


Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd. (Japan)

Partner(s): ispace, inc., Japan

Lightweight structure by committing completely to the pursuit of specific strength and stiffness.
Encouragement of the airframe structure as close to a one-piece composite structure

Various concepts for the basic structure of a lunar lander are possible, depending on the nature and scale of the mission. But with no solid track record yet anywhere in the world, this is a technological area in which humans will continue to develop the ideal form through trial and error. Put another way, it is an area of creative freedom requiring a start from scratch in the absence of benchmark precedents. On December 11, 2022, ispace launched a lunar lander on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the United States and the lander continues to maintain a stable attitude and power supply.

The precedents to be set by ispace, which is expected to become the first privately-led mission aiming to land on the moon in April 2023, could strongly influence future directions in the concepts for lander form and structure. Given this context, many would tend to choose construction methods similar to those in the past that have a proven history of achievement. ispace and Toray Carbon Magic, however, planned a lightweight structure that is optimal in principle by committing completely to the pursuit of specific strength and stiffness in materials, structure, and fabrication methods.

For ispace, weight reduction of the structure for Luner Lander is a critical factor that impacts the efficiency of its business. Understanding what ispace needed, Toray Carbon Magic collaborated in a creative manner, embracing the challenges involved in all factors, including materials, design, manufacturing, and quality.

Key benefits

  • Carbon Composite Monocoque Structure
  • Sandwich-Structured Composites
  • Mandrel-Molded Process with Cost-Effective
  • Integrated Composite Structure
  • Speedy Development & Production in Composite Parts


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