Recently, American President Donald Trump signed ‘Space Policy Directive 1′ which primarily aims at directing NASA to send US astronauts back to the moon. Now, Japan has approved a plan to team up with the US which aims to build a new station that will orbit the moon. The US-proposed project of building a lunar space station is expected to be complete around the second of the year 2020. Japan wants to join hands with the US for the project so that it could land its own astronauts for the first on the surface of the moon.
The plan to join the US-proposed project was approved on Tuesday. For Japan, this collaboration is important as it will give Japan a chance to beat China’s effort of sending astronauts to the moon’s surface for the first time. This move comes in response to the recent announcement of US President to send astronauts to the moon again.
On Monday, Trump formally instructed NASA to send astronauts back to the moon so that a strong foundation can be made on the moon, to launch missions to Mars and beyond. Well, Japan has also made it clear in its space policy to give priority to lunar missions. “Areas of activity for human beings (in space), including development around the moon, have expanded very much. We will accelerate discussions of international probing of space by strengthening cooperation with the United States and others,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting of the government’s strategic headquarters for space policy. US President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had agreed to join hands for future lunar explorations, during the summit talks in November.
In September, NASA stated that it is planning to expand human presence into the solar system starting in the vicinity of the moon. And, after that Russian government announced to join hands with the United States to build a new space station in lunar orbit. So, all these announcements and progressions regarding lunar exploration have pushed Japan to take a call regarding its future prospects of sending astronauts to the lunar surface. That is why it endorsed the plan to join hands with the US to build the lunar space station which will further help it to land its astronauts for the first time on the lunar surface.