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Japanese company wants to put a billboard on the moon by 2020

Soon the glow from the moon won’t just be the reflection of the sun.

After raising $90 million, a Tokyo-based startup, Ispace, plans on heading to the moon and offering a “projection mapping service” which will serve as a small billboard on the Moon. The company hopes to complete this mission by the year 2020, reports Bloomberg.

The startup, run by Takeshi Hakamada, received backing from some of the country’s biggest companies like Japan Airlines, Development Bank of Japan and Tokyo Broadcasting Systems.

The company plans to send a space craft into lunar orbit by 2019 before landing on the satellite one year later. Once they get there, they want to place a billboard where companies can pay to advertise their product with Earth as a backdrop. The company also says they will put corporate logos on their spacecrafts and rovers, like a NASCAR vehicle, but in space.

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Ispace also wants to search for water on the moon, which NASA found evidence of in 2009, and eventually pave the way for lunar transport and exploration.

The company website says it is focused on the harmony between the earth and the moon. The letter from Hakamada on the site’s About Us calls the earth and the moon “one ecosystem” with a belief that the moon has resources we can harness on earth.

Ispace is a competitor in Google’s Lunar XPRIZE Moon Race, which will reward $30 million to the company that can send a robot to the moon, have it travel on the surface, and send photos back The other competitors include Moon Express from the U.S., Tesla’s Synergy Moon, Israel’s Team SpaceIL, and Team Indus from India.

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