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Japan Eyes Partnership With US for Artemis Moon Mission

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Japan’s space agency is seeking to partner with its U.S. counterpart for the Artemis lunar exploration mission, SpaceNews reported Monday. Yoshikazu Shoji, director of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s international relations and research department, said in a presentation at the agency’s Washington, D.C. office that it wants to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with NASA to provide contributions to the lunar gateway.

JAXA’s areas of interest include providing components for the Gateway’s habitation module, which NASA previously announced may be built by Northrop Grumman. JAXA also plans to provide logistics support for the Gateway and send a lunar lander as well as Japanese astronauts to the moon as part of the agreement.

“We are targeting concluding this MOU in the April/May timeframe,” said Shoji. “So we will, maybe very soon, have an agreement between the U.S. and Japan.”

Previously, NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient Jim Bridenstine visited Japan and entered into an agreement with JAXA for potential lunar exploration partnerships.