A Japanese astronaut will join NASA’s Artemis program to relaunch manned flights to the Moon. Joe Biden said he was “excited” about this space collaboration.
The United States and Japan said on Monday May 23 that they intended to send a first Japanese astronaut to the Moon, but without setting a timetable, an announcement symbolizing the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the space field.
“I look forward to the fact that a first Japanese astronaut will join us for the lunar surface mission under the Artemis program.from NASA, the US space agency, US President Joe Biden said in Tokyo. The program Artemis consists of relaunching manned flights to the Moon and learning lessons, particularly for a human expedition to Mars in the longer term. Joe Biden said to himself “enthusiasmby space collaboration with Japan, which will also focus on the Lunar Gateway project, a future station in orbit around the Moon.
Only American astronauts have walked on lunar soil so far. Japan previously aimed for a manned lunar mission by 2030, but its own space program has so far focused on launching satellites and probes. Several Japanese astronauts have also already stayed on board the International Space Station (ISS). The Japanese space agency, Jaxa, is seeking to renew and diversify its workforce: at the end of 2021 it launched its first campaign to recruit budding astronauts in more than a decade, seeking in particular to enlist women.