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posted by martyb on Friday January 03 2020, @08:59PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the how-much-will-they-pay? dept.

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.

US and Japan in talks to boost space ties, send Japanese astronauts to moon in 2020s

If this were to be realized, it would be Japan's first moon landing, and it could possibly make the country only the second in history, after the U.S., to put a person on the astronomical body. The U.S. believes the moon is set to become a strategic point in the near future both in terms of economics and security, and its moves to strengthen ties with Japan are apparently part of an aim to check China's rise to interstellar prominence.

[...] At the end of May 2019, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received U.S. President Donald Trump as a state guest, and declared that Japan was reviewing possible participation in Washington's program.

Bridenstine then held an unofficial meeting on Sept. 24, 2019, in Tokyo with figures including Yoshiyuki Kasai, head of the government's Space Policy Committee and honorary chairman at the Central Japan Railway Co., Takafumi Matsui, deputy head of the same committee as well as the director at the Chiba Institute of Technology's Planetary Exploration Research Center and a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, and Takehiko Matsuo, head of the National Space Policy Secretariat among others.

At the meeting, Bridenstine is reported to have petitioned the attendees to carry out a forward-thinking assessment with a vision of having Japanese astronauts stand alongside American ones on the moon.

Related: Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030
India and Japan to Collaborate on Lunar Lander and Sample Return Mission
NASA Orders 10 SLS Rockets; Return to the Moon Likely Delayed to 2028


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Related Stories

Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030 7 comments

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/29/asia/japan-moon-landing-jaxa/index.html

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.


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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

NASA Orders 10 SLS Rockets; Return to the Moon Likely Delayed to 2028 30 comments

Guess what's on the receiving end of more NASA dollars for SLS?

Hint: It rhymes with 'throwing' as lawmakers baulk at lobbing an unknown amount of cash into the 2024 lunar bonfire[.]

NASA brought a smile to faces of Boeing shareholders this week with the announcement that it would be ordering 10 Space Launch System (SLS) core stages from the US aviation giant for Artemis rocket launches to the Moon. Although paying for the things could be tricky.

[...]It is expected that the next batch of rocket core stages will not suffer the same hideous cost overruns and horrendously drawn-out birthing process of the first build, which might finally fly in 2021 after years of delay.

While more ex-Shuttle RS-25 engines will be needed for dumping into the ocean after the non-reusable SLS is expended, NASA also wants Boeing to finally get on with building the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) to be used from Artemis IV. The EUS is essential to send heftier payloads of the order of 45 tons into lunar orbit.

The comparatively weedy Interim Cryogenic Propulsion stage will be used on the first three Artemis missions in NASA's headlong rush to get those boots on the surface to meet US President Donald Trump's 2024 deadline.

And that arbitrary 2024 date is causing some furrowed brows. At a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee's Commerce, Justice and Science subcommittee into NASA's proposal to bring the Moon landing forward from 2028, US lawmakers hauled the agency over the coals as the price tag for all the lunar japery remained unclear.

See also: A House budget committee has likely killed the 2024 Moon landing
NASA will award Boeing a cost-plus contract for up to 10 SLS rockets
Rocket Report: The Falcon 9 goes for four, Boeing's big cost-plus deal


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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


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday January 04 2020, @02:16AM (1 child)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday January 04 2020, @02:16AM (#939333)

    Not surprising something like this is getting discussed - not sure if it will gain the political traction it needs to execute.

    Lorna Onizuka worked (works?) in the JAXA office in my building in Houston. JAXA has been pretty steadfast in their participation with NASA endeavors, both before and after her husband, Ellison Onizuka died on Challenger.

    --
    Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Saturday January 04 2020, @02:47AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday January 04 2020, @02:47AM (#939340) Journal

      Japan wants to put someone on the Moon, and this could be a relatively cheap and accessible arrangement to make that happen.

      Whether or not the Artemis Project can survive U.S. politics and aggressive deadlines/delays is another story.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday January 04 2020, @04:16AM (6 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 04 2020, @04:16AM (#939374) Journal

    Space is difficult. Very difficult, technically. Everyone should be cooperating with everyone on that. Every fault is potentially critical.
    And what we got instead of space travels promised, in past 30 years? Religious wars, distorted math, lost know-how, marketing campaigns replacing true engineering...
    Japan may have better long term success with their own technology and using Russian engines, as Americans do.

    --
    The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday January 04 2020, @04:34AM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday January 04 2020, @04:34AM (#939385) Journal

      Want long-term success in space? Use fully reusable rockets.

      Until then, it's playtime. A few missions [wikipedia.org] to keep skilled scientists and engineers busy is fine. But the real fun begins when a superheavy payload costs less than $10 million to launch.

      Could fully reusable rockets have been developed decades ago (before an era of petaflops performance)? Who knows, but it could have been even worse if CompanyX hadn't stepped onto the scene.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday January 04 2020, @11:07AM (1 child)

        by Mojibake Tengu (8598) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 04 2020, @11:07AM (#939450) Journal

        Reusable rockets are uneconomical by physics, and by chemistry, and any amount of political marketing will not help this.

        --
        The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday January 05 2020, @06:22AM (2 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday January 05 2020, @06:22AM (#939769)

      Japan already has their own rockets, and launch facility:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-IIA [wikipedia.org]

      Japan may have better long-term success just because they're not busy shooting themselves in the foot over and over like some other places...

      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Mojibake Tengu on Sunday January 05 2020, @08:17AM (1 child)

        by Mojibake Tengu (8598) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 05 2020, @08:17AM (#939781) Journal

        I know, but launching own tech costs money, a lot of money. And brings risks. Acceptable risks for probes, but unacceptable for humans.

        One fundamental reason for said Japan-American space deal is a huge American debt to Japan. It's an unrecoverable debt and Japan just tries to recover at least some part of it by getting free or cheap delivery to orbit or elsewhere. I am in very doubts this will succeed, in current geopolitical situation. Japan is still occupied country, a non-sovereign and not in position to impose conditions. It will result to Japan bloody paying for that.

        However, for launching true people both safely and cheaply at this moment, Russian engines are still the best option. That's why Americans themselves are buying them, instead of making their own.

        --
        The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Grishnakh on Monday January 06 2020, @06:05AM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 06 2020, @06:05AM (#940090)

          No, Americans are buying Russian engines because they're too incompetent to make their own any more. This is changing quickly though with SpaceX and Blue Origin.

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