Japan wants to get its own astronauts on the moon in the second half of this decade.
This is stated in a space plan that was definitively approved on Tuesday during a consultation with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, among others, the state broadcaster NHK reported.
“In the second half of the 2020s, we want to realize the moon landing of Japanese astronauts,” Kishida said. It has been known for some time that Japan aspired to a human-crewed landing on the moon, but this is the first time that the country has set a concrete deadline.
It has also been decided that Japan will participate in the Artemis program of the American space agency NASA. It will develop equipment for a lunar station and transport vehicles on the lunar surface.
The Asian high-tech nation had previously said it would use hydrogen extracted from the ice deposits on the moon as rocket fuel. A fuel factory could be built in the South Pole by 2035.