Japanese Astronauts Set to Land on Moon in New NASA Collaboration

Japan will be the second nation to land an astronaut on the moon after the United States.

An agreement between NASA and Japan announces Japan's contribution to the Artemis lunar exploration campaign.

The Japanese contribution includes a pressurized lunar rover named Lunar Cruiser.

NASA will transport the rover to the moon, expected before the Artemis 7 mission in 2031.

JAXA astronauts will be the first non-NASA astronauts to land on the moon, with two seats allocated on future Artemis missions.

The Japanese rover will support longer expeditions beyond the range of American Lunar Terrain Vehicles.

The rover is designed for two astronauts and a 10-year lifespan, supporting 30-day expeditions.

NASA sees the rover as a collaborative effort advancing lunar exploration for the Artemis Generation.

The agreement doesn't specify when Japanese astronauts will fly to the moon, but several factors will determine crew assignments.

The agreement marks a significant milestone in Japan's involvement in the Artemis program, celebrated by industry leaders for its leadership and vision.