Manned space travel: the Japanese also want to go to the moon

Status: December 28, 2021 2:18 p.m.

Japan plans to send people to the moon before the end of this decade. Prime Minister Kishida gave economic as well as ideal reasons for this. Mars also plays a role in the plans.

Japan is accelerating its manned space program. “In the second half of the 2020s, we want to make the moon landing of Japanese astronauts a reality,” declared Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, thereby defining the long-standing plans for exploring the moon. He mentioned economic motives, but also referred to humanity’s “hopes and dreams”.

Japan is already participating in the “Artemis” mission of the USA and wants to develop equipment for a lunar station and transport companion for the lunar surface.

Hydrogen from the moon

The Asian high-tech nation had already set itself the goal of using hydrogen as fuel in the future, which the Japanese want to extract from the ice deposits on the moon. For example, fuel production is to be set up at the south pole of the moon around 2035. According to earlier information from the Japanese space agency Jaxa, the aim is to supply a reusable spaceship. It will also be used to power a transport vehicle on the moon in the future.

Race with China?

The space plans also include the goal of sending a probe to Mars in 2024.

Japan is thus entering into stronger competition with nearby China, which has been making massive efforts for several years. The People’s Republic also wants to send people to the earth’s satellite. It wasn’t until May that China managed to send a rover to Mars. About two years ago a Chinese spaceship landed on the far side of the moon.

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