Japan authorities and NASA signed a cooperative agreement between the two countries in the Artemis program, for the exploration of the Moon.
“We took a big step towards the first Japanese landing on the Moon,” Minister Koichi Hagiuda said at a press conference.
A landing on the Moon is scheduled to take place in mid-2024. According to the document, the Japanese will be involved in the construction of the Lunar Gateway, a space station in lunar orbit.
The country will provide technologies such as batteries and environmental monitoring systems for the Lunar Gateway, to be launched in 2023.
The Artemis Program aims to establish a permanent human presence on the surface and in the Moon orbit, consisting of three elements: the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, the Orion capsule, and the Lunar Gateway space station.
Daughter of Zeus and the twin sister of Apollo, Artemis is the Greek goddess of hunting, forests, the Moon, and animals. Apollo was, precisely, the name of the NASA program that took us to the Moon in 1969.
“Going Back to the Moon, This Time to Stay”, that’s how NASA described, at the end of 2019, its moon mission, stressing that the expedition paves the way for a new era of space exploration.