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Japan will send astronauts to the moon with NASA

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Japan announced that a team of astronauts will be sent to the moon in a partnership with NASA.

“America no longer will walk on the moon alone,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

He made this statement during a press conference on April 10 between NASA and Japan’s government to announce Japan sending astronauts to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis Lunar exploration program.

The significance of Japan sending astronauts to the moon is rooted in the fact that no nation, other than the United States, has sent astronauts to the moon.

America first sent astronauts to the moon in 1969 as part of the infamous Apollo 11 program, when Neil Armstrong commemorated “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

America plans to revisit the moon with astronauts in 2025 in NASA’s Artemis 2 launch, after Artemis 1 went to the moon with robots and mannequins in lieu of a human crew. NASA made plans for not just two Artemis space flights, but reportedly up to five.

Japan’s participation in Artemis came after “they offered to provide the United States with a pressurized moon rover,” according to Popular Science. This moon rover is built to accommodate two astronauts for up to 30 days. The Japanese RV can be remotely controlled and will remain active for a decade after the mission.

The essentiality of this rover is explained in its ability “to enable astronauts to travel farther and work for longer periods on the lunar surface.”

Furthermore, Nelson described the rover as “a mobile habitat” and “a lunar lab, a lunar home, and a lunar explorer — a place where astronauts can live, work, and navigate the lunar surface.”

Moreover, on NASA’s Artemis page, NASA communicated that for its mission it aims to “collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon.”

In addition to Japan, NASA will also be collaborating with The European Space Agency to send astronauts to the moon. The ESA may be sending three astronauts to the Artemis missions.

As of now, it is uncertain when these astronauts will actually leave Earth.

The international collaboration on space exploration is definitely interesting and positive as it transcends earthly relationships between the nations involved in the Artemis program from land to space, literally. It’s a testament to the human race’s successes and advancements being contingent on human collaboration and human unity.

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