Citizen Watch and ispace have jointly partnered HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.
As a key component of the corporate partnership, Citizen will apply its Super Titanium material to titanium components used in the HAKUTO-R lunar lander and lunar rover.
Selected by ispace’s engineers for its light weight and strength, titanium will be used for various mechanical parts in the HAKUTO-R lander and rover.
As a lightweight, scratch- and corrosion-resistant material developed by Citizen for its watches, Citizen and ispace said they are aiming to use Super Titanium to improve the reliability and environmental resistance of the HAKUTO-R spacecraft’s titanium parts.
The material is developed using Citizen’s proprietary technology, called “Duratect”, which uses special treatment techniques, including ion plating, cold plasma, gas hardening and duplex coating, to produce a titanium material that is 6x harder than stainless steel.
For the partnership, Citizen will be procuring the pure titanium material, process it using the Duratect treatment technology, and apply it to the relevant HAKUTO-R lander and rover parts.
Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO at ispace, said: “The application of Citizen’s titanium watch technology to HAKUTO-R’s lunar lander and rover provides a clear example of how industrial techniques used on Earth can provide viable solutions to spacecraft engineering.”
Adding: “We will continue to actively work with our partner companies to challenge the conventional way of thinking about space development.”