Japan plans to land its astronauts on the moon in the second half of the 2020s

The Japanese government intends to land its astronauts on the moon in the second half of the 2020s. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said this at a meeting on the strategy of space exploration held in Tokyo on Tuesday.

At the Government and Space Development Strategy Headquarters on the 28th, Prime Minister Kishidasaidthat the schedule of the Space Basic Plan will be revised and included. The aim is to consolidate the position as an advanced space faring country through manned lunar exploration following the United States.

The schedule of the Space Basic Plan is to be revised every year as per the international outlook. The revised schedule includes the target time for the first time for Japanese landing on the moon, “Aiming for realization in the latter half of the 2020s,” and clearly states that it aims to be the first non-American’ on the moon.

Recruitments on 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has begun recruiting new Japanese aviators for the first time in 13 years, and there is a possibility that the selected aviators will land on the moon.

After the document screening, there are four stages of examinations, and some people will pass the exam around February 2023. Successful applicants will join JAXA and receive training. In addition to going to the International Space Station, it is expected to play an active role in US-led international space exploration and lunar landing. Applications will be accepted on the JAXA website until noon on March 4, next year.

Applicants are required to have at least 3 years of work experience as of the end of March 2010, regardless of their specialized fields such as ‘humanities and science. Since the candidates are expected to be active in a spaceship, he or she needs to meet certain conditions in terms of height, eyesight, colour vision, and hearing.

The current JAXA astronaut corps consists of seven people, the average age of the members of this group is 52 years. Only two of them will remain in service by the 2030s when Japan plans active exploration of the Moon.

Cooperation with NASA

The lunar landing is planned as part of a broader program of activities in the vicinity and on the surface of the Earth satellite, which will be carried out in cooperation with the United States. 

During the 2019 spring, NASA announced the draft Artemis lunar exploration and exploration program. In its third stage, NASA plans to carry out the landing of astronauts on an Earth satellite approximately at the end of the 2020s.

In the same year, Japan announced its intention to join the U.S. lunar program. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and NASA inked an agreement for cooperation in the field of exploration of the Moon. The deal involves the supply of equipment, the exchange of data on the lunar surface, the joint creation of a lunar rover, as well as the possible sending of Japanese astronauts to the moon.

Other Plan

In addition to the moon landing, the Japanese government schedule also includes the start of full-scale operation of a system for monitoring satellites and space debris of other countries in detail in FY2011, and the launch of a spacecraft for the Martian exploration plan in FY2012.

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