An intensifying U.S.-China space rivalry and Elon Musk’s ambitious Mars program have fired up scores of startups across the world chasing lucrative contracts, as humans race for resources that could foster life beyond Earth.

Among those is a small Japanese company seeking to make a mark this month with what could be a first for a commercial firm.

Tokyo-based Ispace is scheduled to send a lunar lander as early as Nov. 22, carrying multiple government and commercial payloads, including two rovers. Like Musk’s dream for a Martian colony, the startup’s grand vision is to build a human settlement on the moon by 2040, but before that it wants to become the lunar version of FedEx — earning money by ferrying scientific equipment and commercial goods to the moon.