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Japan Removes Independent Human Spaceflight Ban

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 6, 2009
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Gov’t reverses policy against independent manned space missions
The Mainichi Daily News

The government has decided to reverse the nation’s policy against independent manned space missions and moon exploration, it has been learned.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) wants “to have the technology for independent manned missions,” President Keiji Tachikawa announced last month, in a reversal of Japan’s policy against manned space exploration.

The plan on manned space missions was due to be mentioned in a meeting of an expert panel at the government’s space development strategy headquarters on Friday. While not setting any specific time frame, it does call for a review of current policy on manned space missions as part of plans for the proposed Space Solar Power System (SSPS), and a future manned mission to the moon.

Read the full story.

Japan considers putting robot on moon

Japan is considering putting a robot on the moon by 2020 and an astronaut by 2030, a report from a government office showed on Friday, amid fears that the country will be left behind in Asia’s space race.

The plans follow China’s first space walk and India’s launch of their first unmanned moon mission last year. Beijing officials have said that China is looking to eventually put astronauts on the moon, though the government has not revealed any schedule.

The robot and the astronaut would probe the moon to see how its resources could be used, the report showed.

A space development panel also discussed on Friday the possibility of Japan eventually starting its own manned space program, a government official said.

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