Japan planning moon mission: space agency

April 20, 2015
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to launch the moon mission as early as the fiscal year starting in April 2018, acco
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to launch the moon mission as early as the fiscal year starting in April 2018, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper

Japan plans to launch an unmanned mission to the moon as a stepping stone to a future visit to Mars, officials and local media said Monday.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) unveiled the plan for a to a council of the cabinet office and the ministry of education, culture, sports science and technology, a JAXA official said.

If successful, Japan will be the fourth country to send an unmanned probe to the moon after Russia, the United States and China.

"This is an initial step and a lot of procedures are still ahead before the plan is formally approved," the official said.

According to the evening edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun, JAXA plans to launch the moon mission as early as the fiscal year starting in April 2018, with a development cost estimated at up to 15 billion yen ($126 million).

The probe, named SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon), will be carried by the nation's solid-fuel "Epsilon" rocket, the newspaper said, adding that the ministry plans to request a budget for the programme next year.

If successful, Japan will be the fourth country to send an to the moon after Russia, the United States and China, the daily said.

This is part of Japan's effort to prepare for a mission to Mars in the future, the Yomiuri reported.

Explore further: India clears mission to Mars

Related Stories

India clears mission to Mars

August 4, 2012

India's government has cleared plans to put an orbital probe around Mars next year to study the red planet's climate and geology, a report said Saturday.

Europe's plans to visit the Moon in 2018

July 27, 2012

The European Space Agency is aiming for the Moon with their Lunar Lander mission, anticipated to arrive on the lunar surface in 2018. Although ESA successfully put a lander on the surface of Titan with the Huygens probe in ...

China completes first mission to moon and back

October 31, 2014

China completed its first return mission to the moon early Saturday with the successful re-entry and landing of an unmanned probe, state media reported, in the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious space programme.

China launches first mission to moon and back

October 24, 2014

China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious programme to one day land a Chinese citizen on the Earth's only natural satellite.

Recommended for you

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
2 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2015
If successful, Japan will be the fourth country to send an unmanned probe to the moon after Russia, the United States and China.


Put an asterix there and note that India has already gone to Mars with a camera and transmitter, so they could have gone to the Moon if they thought it was worth it for their first space mission. Mars was a more interesting target for them.

I can see why Japan is interested in the Moon though, for material and energy resource harvesting given their large population and small land mass of their home island chain.
TechnoCreed
4.5 / 5 (4) Apr 20, 2015
If successful, Japan will be the fourth country to send an unmanned probe to the moon after Russia, the United States and China.


Put an asterix there and note that India has already gone to Mars with a camera and transmitter, so they could have gone to the Moon if they thought it was worth it for their first space mission. Mars was a more interesting target for them.

Mangalyaan (the Indian Mars mission) is an orbiter not a lander. Japan is planning to land on the moon.

If you only knew how to read...
yyz
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2015
"...India has already gone to Mars with a camera and transmitter, so they could have gone to the Moon if they thought it was worth it for their first space mission."

India has already sent a probe to the Moon: https://en.wikipe...rayaan-1

In a few years India plans to send a orbiter/rover combo to the Moon: https://en.wikipe...rayaan-2
Returners
not rated yet Apr 20, 2015
If you only knew how to read...


Actually they used the term "Probe" but that is too broad of a term, because Orbiters and Landers are "probes", but so is Pioneer and Voyager.

China did land a rover on the Moon, but China hasn't been to Mars, so India is ahead of them in that respect.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.