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October 26, 2021
The US Government further improved its relationship with the Japanese Government by revealing JAXA’s (Japanese Space Agency) contribution to the Artemis Program, which promises to put humans back on lunar soil in 2024.
Under the agreement made in September 2019, Japan will be working on the Gateway’s International Habitation module (I-Hab), which is where the crew will live, work, and conduct research during Artemis missions. Particularly, JAXA will develop I-Hab’s environmental control and life support systems, as well as batteries, thermal control, and imagery components. Furthermore, Japan will work with Northrop Grumman to provide batteries for Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), namely the initial crew cabin for the first astronauts in the Gateway. Lastly, Japan will also be studying improvements to its HTV-X cargo resupply spacecraft, which could result in its use for Gateway logistics resupply, says Nasa.
“We’re honored to announce this latest agreement with Japan to support long-term human exploration on and around the Moon as part of the Artemis program,” said Jim Bridenstine, former NASA Administrator under the Trump government. “Strengthening our international partnerships and commitments to Artemis puts humanity on a solid path to achieve our common goals of sustainable lunar exploration by the end of this decade.”
The contributions made by the Japanese Space Agency will be essential to have a constant human presence on the Moon by the end of the decade, providing systems for the astronauts to remain in the Gateway for longer periods of time.
The Artemis Program is NASA’s vision of putting humans back on the Moon coming to reality. The Gateway will be a kind of Moon station, that will allow the astronauts exploring the lunar surface to have constant support and, moreover, allow them to stay up there for longer periods.
Additionally, the Artemis Program is nothing but a stepping stone for NASA’s long-term vision of having human footprints on Martian soil by the 1930s.
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ARTICLE: JOSE TEIXEIRA
SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITORS: KYLE SMITH
PHOTO CREDITS: EOPORTAL