Did NASA Invite Japanese Astronauts To Fly To The Moon? (Update: Not Exactly)

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

"NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine proposed to the Japanese government during a visit in September 2019 that it join the U.S. in a plan to put Japanese astronauts on the surface of the moon in the latter half of the 2020s, multiple sources familiar with the matter said. 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."

Keith's 2 Jan note: I have asked NASA PAO if this is accurate. Stay tuned.

Keith's 3 Jan update: NASA PAO sent the follow in response to my inquiry: "NASA's Artemis program relies heavily on the support of our commercial and international partners and several of our international partners have expressed great interest in potential collaboration. We're aggressively pursuing ways that other nations can contribute going forward. As he has done with other countries, Administrator Bridenstine discussed potential opportunities with counterparts in Japan during his visit there in September, but specific contributions and timelines have yet to be worked out. Various nations, including Canada, Japan, Australia and the member nations of the European Space Agency, have all expressed their strong support for Artemis Program and plan to join us for this new chapter in lunar exploration."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 3, 2020 7:10 PM.

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