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    Japan aims to send a man to the moon by the end of the 2020s


    Japan plans to send people to the moon by the end of 2020. (Representative photo: AP Photo / Michael Probst)

    The plan calls for the launch of a probe to explore Mars in 2024, as well as Japan’s desire to find ways to generate solar power in space.

    • Reuters Tokyo
    • Latest version:December 26, 2021, 12:43 p.m.
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    Japan on Tuesday revised its space exploration plan, which aims to land a Japanese man on the moon by the end of the 2020s. “Space is not just a frontier that gives people hope and dreams, it provides an important foundation for our economic society in terms of our economic security,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a meeting to finalize the plan.

    According to the draft plan schedule, Japan’s goal is to place the first non-Americans on the moon as part of the Artemis program, a U.S.-led initiative aimed at bringing astronauts back to the moon.

    The plan calls for the launch of a probe to explore Mars in 2024, as well as Japan’s desire to find ways to generate solar power in space.

    Neighboring China also aims to become a major spacecraft power by 2030, and plans to have astronauts on the moon, raising the possibility of an Asian space competition.

    In May, two years after the first spacecraft landed off the moon, China became the second country to launch a rover to Mars.

    One week after the announcement of Japan’s space exploration target, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maizawa became the first space tourist to travel on the ISS for more than a week after returning to Earth after spending 12 days on the International Space Station.

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