onsdag 1. juli 2020

Amid rivalry with China, Japan is aiming for the moon – and beyond

Japan has announced plans to double the scale of its space industry, a decision driven by the quest for resources to be found in outer space, defence considerations and a certain degree of rivalry with China. The cabinet on Tuesday approved an updated Basic Plan on Space Policy for the first time in five years, outlining Japan’s aims over the coming decade. Its current spending of Ұ1.2 trillion (US$11 billion) a year lags well that of the United States and Europe – and Tokyo intends to double that figure by the early 2030s.

The plan calls for the private sector to play a bigger role in space development and technology, with one component of the policy being cooperation with Nasa on its Artemis programme, which aims to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024. Tokyo hopes that a Japanese astronaut will be on one of the early missions.