Japanese lunar exploration startup Ispace Inc. says it will set up a lunar lander development site in the United States by the end of the year in a bid to deliver payloads, including research equipment, to the moon in support of future NASA missions.

The Tokyo firm seeks to bolster its capability to develop the spacecraft by hiring engineers based in the state of Colorado, which boasts one of the nation's most well-established aerospace economies, to support NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

The program aims to engage the private sector in facilitating deliveries to the Moon, setting the stage for astronauts to land on the lunar surface in 2024.