A Japanese government research group unveiled plans for the country to have a two-legged humanoid robot explore the moon's surface by 2020, paving the way for other ambitious space missions.
The Japan Strategic Headquarters for Space Development announced the plans during a meeting with the media recently, ending some speculation regarding Japan's space ambitions. The group is responsible for outlining where Japan will go with its future space projects, and must receive public approval for projects. The Cabinet-level working group offered several recommendations on the future of the Japanese space program, especially regarding the moon.
The Strategic Headquarters was established by the Japanese government last year with the aim to better develop Japanese space technology. The country also will be able to use recently passed laws to allow it to use space technology for military defense and space-related military endeavors.
Aside from a humanoid on the surface of the moon, the group also believes other robots and a JAXA astronaut may be able to roam the moon's surface at some point shortly after the humanoid. Exact details of the humanoid on the moon will be finalized over the next couple of years, including the size of the project's budget, which currently hasn't been determined.
The group also believes it'd be a good idea for Japan to invest more research into military satellites, as the threat of possible missile attacks from either North Korea or China grows. Furthermore, the satellites could also be used to track natural disasters.
The U.S., China, Russia and India also have plans for missions to the moon by 2025. It's likely China will be the first country to get back to the moon, with several U.S. space officials even admitting that the growing Chinese space program has the technological and monetary funds necessary to create another lunar spacecraft.
China plans to put astronauts on the moon around the same time as the United States and Japan, but hasn't outlined specific plans on its moon ambitions yet.
Specifically in Asia, Japan is engaged in an Asian space race with China and India, with each nation making important strides in space research. Japan is the well-established space program, but just recently got its space program back on track.
quote: what are you talking about? this will be the first gundam to reach space, it's a monumental achievement
quote: Because at the time it was considered ok to send men to the moon in little more than a tin can, receiving more radiation in a few days than a normal human receives all year.
quote: That hasn't changed. The radiation exposure on spacecraft back then was about as high as it is now. Astronauts are classified as radiation workers due to the radiation exposure they receive.
quote: Furthermore, the satellites could also be used to track natural disasters, and