NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine met with his counterpart at JAXA to discuss the two agencies’ cooperation in exploring the Moon and beyond.
Bridenstine met with the President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa at the agency’s headquarters in Tokyo on September 24. According to a joint statement signed by both men following the meeting, Yamakawa “welcomed the ongoing engagement between their agencies to realize JAXA’s participation in NASA’s Artemis program and vision for the participation of Japanese astronauts in lunar exploration.”
As part of future cooperation, Yamakawa and Bridenstine identified several areas in which the two countries could extend scientific and technological collaboration. The pair identified NASA’s lunar Gateway space station and JAXA’s Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon (SLIM) mission as endeavours for potential collaboration.
In addition to identifying points of possible collaboration in upcoming missions, President Yamakawa also identified several areas in NASA’s mission to build a sustainable presence on the Moon with which JAXA would be willing to assist. These areas include, “pressurized crew rovers, transportation vehicles to and from the lunar surface, and In-Situ Resource Utilization technology.”
The signing of the statement of cooperation with JAXA comes just days after Australia committed to offer support to NASA’s Artemis mission. The agreement was signed by NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard and the Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr. Megan Clark at NASA Headquarters in Washington on September 21.