KDDI Launches New Program to Develop Space Businesses

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A KDDI building in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press) — Major Japanese telecommunications carrier KDDI Corp. said Thursday that it has launched an open innovation program designed to create space-related businesses through collaboration between startups and major companies.

The Mugenlabo Universe program will provide experimental environments, including a digital space that replicates outer space conditions, to help partner companies develop new technologies and launch space businesses.

Under the program, Spacedata Inc., a Tokyo-based space development research company, and others will collaborate. They will first work to start a test in fiscal 2025 of robot operation in a digital space that reproduces the temperature and gravity of the lunar surface. A food cultivation test using an unmanned small satellite in a space environment is planned to start in fiscal 2027.

KDDI also said it will aim to establish a communications network between the moon and Earth as early as 2028 and to develop a communication environment on the moon by around 2030.