Japan and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed on Friday to collaborate on the International Space Station (ISS) and lunar surface exploration, working to eventually send humans and robots to the moon.
NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, and Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Koichi Hagiuda signed a joint exploration declaration of intent during their virtual meeting.
According to the declaration, the two sides plan to cooperate regarding the ISS and NASA’s Artemis programme – its manned missions to the moon.
“Today’s signing of this declaration of intent builds on the long history of successful cooperation between the U.S. and Japan in space,’’ Bridenstine said.
“We appreciate Japan’s strong support for Artemis and look forward to extending the robust partnership that we have enjoyed on the International Space Station to cis-lunar space, the lunar surface and beyond,’’ he said.
“This is a big step towards the first Japanese person’s landing on the moon,’’ Hagiuda said.
Through Artemis, NASA will send people to the moon by 2024 and establish sustainable lunar surface exploration with its commercial and international partners by 2028, it said.