Saturday, 1 July 2017

Japan announces plans to put a man on the moon by 2030 as 'Asian space race' intensifies

  • This is the first time Japan has announced intentions to explore the lunar surface 
  • The mission will most likely form part of an international collaboration
  • The announcement means Japan is joining the intensifying 'Asian space race'
  • China is also making 'preliminary' preparations for a manned lunar mission 
  • Earlier this month a space official said funding and approving will 'not take long' 

Japan plans to put a man on the moon by 2030, according to a new proposal by the government's Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa).
It is the first time Jaxa has announced its intentions to explore the lunar surface, and will most likely form part of an international mission, the agency said.

Jaxa's plans, announced Wednesday, mean Japan is joining a host of other Asian nations in what is being dubbed the 'Asian space race'.
It is the latest in a series of ambitious plans announced by Asian countries, with rising competition for space-related power mirroring the space race raged between the United States and the USSR during the cold war in the mid-20th century.
In December 2016, China announced its intentions to put a man on the moon by 2036, as well as plans to land a rover on Mars by 2020.
India became the fourth country to plant its flag on the moon in 2008, behind the US, Russia and China, and plans to land a second unmanned probe on the lunar surface by mid-2018.
The country is yet to announce plans for a manned mission to moon.
Jaxa's moon mission was proposed to a panel at Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology this week, which is responsible for directing the country's space exploration.

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