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posted by martyb on Saturday July 01 2017, @12:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the to-visit-the-Chinese-who-will-already-be-there dept.

Japan plans to put a man on the moon around 2030, according to a new proposal by the government's Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is the first time JAXA has revealed an intention to send Japanese astronauts beyond the International Space Station, and it will mostly likely be part of an international mission, the agency said.

[...] A spokesman for JAXA told CNN the new plan wasn't to send an exclusively Japanese rocket to the Moon, which would be extremely costly, but rather to contribute to a multinational manned lunar probe. By contributing technology, JAXA would hope to be allotted a space on the mission, which would begin preparation in 2025.

Also at Space News.

Original Submission

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Lockheed Martin Repurposing Shuttle Cargo Module to Use for Lunar Orbiting Base 28 comments

Let's just throw this old thing at the Moon and call it a day:

A cargo container that was built to fly on NASA's space shuttles is being repurposed as a prototype for a deep space habitat.

Lockheed Martin announced it will refurbish the Donatello multi-purpose logistics module (MLPM), transforming from it from its original, unrealized role as a supply conveyor for the International Space Station to a test and training model of a living area for astronauts working beyond Earth orbit. The work is being done under a public-private partnership between the aerospace corporation and NASA.

"We are excited to work with NASA to repurpose a historic piece of flight hardware," said Bill Pratt, Lockheed Martin's program manager for the deep space habitat contract, in a statement.

Donatello was one of three MPLMs that was designed to fly in the space shuttle payload bay to transfer cargo to the station. Built by the Italian Space Agency under a contract with NASA, two modules, Leonardo and Raffaello, flew on 12 shuttle missions between 2001 and 2011.

Also at Popular Mechanics.

Previously: NASA and International Partners Planning Orbital Lunar Outpost
NASA Eyeing Mini Space Station in Lunar Orbit as Stepping Stone to Mars

Related: Moon Base Could Cost Just $10 Billion Due to New Technologies
Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again?
Cislunar 1000 Vision - Commercializing Space
Forget Mars, Colonize Titan
Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030

Original Submission

India and Japan to Collaborate on Lunar Lander and Sample Return Mission 4 comments

India, Japan working on lunar sample return mission

India plans to visit the moon a third time and also return, with Japan for company this time.

Their lander and rover mission will bring samples back from moon, the chiefs of the two space agencies said on Friday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have started to work out the contours of their joint trip — which will be the third for both countries.

They did not say when it would be sent. The plans are in the early stages: Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, A.S.Kiran Kumar, and JAXA president Naoki Okumura said the 'implementation arrangements' are likely be reached in a couple of months.

Related: Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030
Enter the Moon Cave
India's Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission Planned for 2018

Original Submission

Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway 8 comments

Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is a planned space station in lunar orbit. The U.S. and Russia signed an agreement last year to work on the station's development. Now Russia has created an engineering department inside the RKK Energia space corporation in order to plan the nation's lunar exploration, including a possible manned landing:

Officially, Moscow has been on a path to put a human on the Moon since 2013, when President Putin approved a general direction for human space flight in the coming decade. The program had been stalling for several years due to falling prices for oil, the main source of revenue for the Russian budget. Last year, however, the Russian lunar exploration effort was given a new impetus when the Kremlin made a strategic decision to cooperate with NASA on the construction of a habitable outpost in the orbit around the Moon, known as Deep Space Gateway, DSG.

Although the US saw the primary goal of the DSG as a springboard for missions to Mars, NASA's international partners, including Russia, have been pushing the idea of exploring the Moon first. On the Russian side, RKK Energia led key engineering studies into the design of the DSG and participated in negotiations with NASA on sharing responsibilities for the project.

To coordinate various technical aspects of lunar exploration, the head of RKK Energia Vladimir Solntsev signed an order late last year to form Center No. 23Ts, which would report directly to him. According to a document seen by Ars Technica, the group will be responsible for developing long-term plans for human missions to the vicinity of the Moon and to its surface, as well as for implementing proposals for international cooperation in lunar missions. This is a clear signal that NASA might soon have a new liaison in Russia for all things related to the DSG. The same group will also take care of all the relevant domestic interactions between RKK Energia and its subcontractors.

Unlike the ISS, the DSG should not require any orbital boost burns and could reach any altitude above the Moon using ion thrusters.

Here are two op-eds from last year about the Deep Space Gateway:

Terry Virts: The Deep Space Gateway would shackle human exploration, not enable it

John Thornton: The Deep Space Gateway as a cislunar port

Related articles:

Original Submission

Project Artemis: NASA Administrator Reportedly Proposed Joint U.S.-Japan Moon Landing 9 comments

NASA Proposed Sending Japanese Astronauts to the Moon

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine secretly proposed using US rockets to send Japanese astronauts to the Moon, Japanese newspaper The Mainichi reports, citing "multiple sources" familiar with the talks.

According to the paper, Bridenstine made the proposal during an unofficial September 2019 visit in which he met with space industry leaders, including the head of the Japanese government's Space Policy Committee. Bridenstine reportedly encouraged attendees to consider a future in which Japanese astronauts joined Americans on the lunar surface.

NASA Signs Agreement with Japan on Lunar Exploration 10 comments

NASA signs agreement with Japan on lunar exploration - SpaceNews:

NASA has signed an agreement with the Japanese government that brings the agencies closer to finalizing Japan's roles in the Artemis program.

The agreement, called a Joint Exploration Declaration of Intent, was signed late July 9 in a virtual meeting between NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, in the United States, and Koichi Hagiuda, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in the Japanese government, in Japan.

"Today's signing of this declaration of intent builds on the long history of successful cooperation between the U.S. and Japan in space," Bridenstine said in a brief statement about the agreement. "We appreciate Japan's strong support for Artemis and look forward to extending the robust partnership that we have enjoyed on the International Space Station to cislunar space, the lunar surface, and beyond."

Neither government released the text of the declaration, but they described the document as outlining roles for Japan in both human and robotic exploration. That would include contributions to the lunar Gateway and lunar surface exploration.

Previously: Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030
Project Artemis: NASA Administrator Reportedly Proposed Joint U.S.-Japan Moon Landing

Related: India and Japan to Collaborate on Lunar Lander and Sample Return Mission
JAXA Approves Phobos Sample Return Mission, Set for 2024 Launch

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @12:46AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @12:46AM (#533777)

    All your moon base are belong to us!

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:07AM (2 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:07AM (#533782)

    Is that rocket going to be wired half in 60Hz and half in 50Hz []?

    Talking about double standards, I thought we didn't allow people living in that corner of the world to launch ballistic rockets...

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:21AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:21AM (#533785) Journal

      Read the summary! Sounds like they will pay SpaceX or ULA and coordinate the mission with NASA and ESA.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:17AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:17AM (#533825) Journal

      They should go for 230 V to reduce the need for heavy cables and 60 Hz to reduce the need for a lot of iron in transformers and motors. One benefit with 50 Hz is PAL compatibility though which has way better colors and stability.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:37AM (#533789)

    Not without leaving a bunch of sperm. Their population is crashing big time.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @02:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @02:50AM (#533804)

    It's an easy promise for a politician to make because if it fails, it's long after their tenure.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @04:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @04:38AM (#533818)

    So !that! was the very strange Japanese TV show I saw... the one with the guys in latex and many trampolines. They were doing early research for their Moon shot!