China, Russia, perhaps the European Union-until 2030 to land their astronauts on the natural satellite of the Earth gather many. However, there is a chance that all of them will be ahead of Japanese representatives, whose government at a recent meeting approved the preparation of the transaction with NASA. Completely their own lunar program is beyond the power of the Japanese, so they are looking for allies.
The flight to Mars of the spacecraft with people will take place closer to the middle of the century, and before that NASA wants to run into all related technologies closer to the house, on the moon. In 2019, an automatic ORION capsule will go there, and from 2021 it will be possible to send astronauts to work for a shift method. They will build the lunar station Deep Space Gateway, from where the mission to Mars will start in a couple of decades.
The Japanese Aerospace Research Agency is going to offer NASA all the help in preparing different stages of the lunar program in exchange for privilege. Namely – the first person on the moon in the new century will be a citizen of Japan. Or a citizen. The plans of the agency and the Japanese authorities have not yet been defined, only interest in this project is indicated.
What exactly can Japan NASA offer as its share of the transaction, in addition to direct financing, also remains a mystery.
Source — NHK