Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masayuki Waga) has entered into a partnership agreement with Dymon Co., Ltd. (Head office: Ota-ku, Tokyo; President: Shinichiro Nakajima; hereinafter, “Dymon”), the robot and space development venture, the first private company ever to explore the moon. Based on this agreement, MCC will provide carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components and thermoplastic materials as well as technical support. As part of the agreement, MCC’s CFRP components will be used in parts for the lunar rover, which is scheduled to be launched in the fall of 2021.
Equipment used in the space field requires strength, rigidity, and heat resistance that can withstand use in harsh environments such as under launch conditions and in space. In addition, weight reduction of components is a major issue required to reduce transportation cost to get to the lunar surface, which is said to total 100 million yen per kg. Until now, aluminum materials have mainly been used, but CFRP, which combines strength and lightness, is expected to be used more widely in the future.
MCC, which already has a proven track record of adopting CFRP components in the space field such as artificial satellites, will further accumulate experience in using CFRP components in space and on the moon through the alliance with Dymon to accelerate the development of products and applications such as components for a lunar base.
By actively pursuing opportunities in the space business, which is expected to continue to grow in the future, MCC will aim to achieve the growth of its businesses.