back to article Sailor Moon? More like sail to the Moon: Japan vows to set foot on lunar soil by 2030

Japan's national space agency JAXA has announced plans to send a lone astronaut to the moon by 2030. It's a big step for Japan, since its astronauts have never set foot in space beyond the International Space Station. The proposal was presented this week during a panel with the country's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they going to do an Anime version? The live action one's are a bit shit to be honest.

  2. NanoMeter

    Pretty sure

    the astronaut crew will consist of kawaii girls.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency. It'd have been too tempting for me to have swapped the 'Agency' for 'Institute', had I been on the naming committee....

  4. handleoclast

    It's obvious why they're going

    Anime shows that some Japanese have a sexual preference that borders on paedophilia.

    Alex Jones has just revealed that NASA has a colony of child sex slaves on Mars.

    Of course the Japanese are trying to advance their space technology to the point where they can get to Mars.

    It all makes perfect sense.

    Oh, and Vulture Central needs to add an icon of a tinfoil helmet, with title text "I'll get my tinfoil helmet." So you'll have to imagine there's a tinfoil helmet in the coat I'm reaching for.

    1. jelabarre59

      Re: It's obvious why they're going

      Anime shows that some Japanese have a sexual preference that borders on paedophilia.

      Don't lewd the dragon loli.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Does a dead astronaut count?

    People seem to imagine that getting to Mars is like getting to the Moon, but with a bigger rocket. The problem is not physically getting there, it's avoiding dying from radiation exposure on the way. Three years exposure to high energy cosmic particles, plus the occasional intense blast of solar wind from solar storms is going to leave the astronaut with more than a nice tan, and there isn't much that can be effectively done about it.

    1. King Jack

      Re: Does a dead astronaut count?

      They won't die but mutate into the Fantastic Four or similar. It's true. They even made a few films about it.

    2. IT Poser

      Re: Does a dead astronaut count?

      Actually there are things that can be done.

      First, don't spend 3 years traveling to Mars. Go faster, and get there in 3-4 months. This cuts the exposure by an order of magnitude.

      Second, ~3 cm of water cuts radiation level in half. The crew is going to need water so put the storage around the outside of the habitable area. Have a panic room with thicker shielding for solar storms.

      Third, don't use metal as the primary material in the bulkheads of habitable areas. Metals, when struck by high energy particles, emit secondary radiation. Inflatable sections, much like what Biglow is playing with, don't have the same problems with secondary radiation.

      Radiation is not a big problem in most of the inner solar system. We don't want to hang out in the Van Allen belts or get too close to the Sun but we aren't planning on spending a lot of time in either place.

    3. GX5000

      Re: Does a dead astronaut count?

      You forgot about the retinas detaching halfway there and your bone mass reaching breakpoint at that time as well. JPL has some great articles and research about how we'll have to be fully "Modified" before we ever hope to become a Space faring/Landing species. Humanity was meant for the gravity it was born on, until we can replicate it maybe....

  6. Mike Flugennock

    Just ONE astronaut?

    Am I reading this right? Does JAXA intend to send just one astronaut to land on the Moon, do EVA/sampling/photography etc.? No crewmates to tend a mothershp in lunar orbit (will it be EOR/LOR or direct-ascent?), and serve as copilot for the lander? Or, does JAXA plan on a one-man lunar orbit/flyby mission as a kind of "technology demonstrator"? This article doesn't mention that.

    Towards the end of the Mercury program, if I remember right, plans for a one-man lunar flyby based on a modified capsule were kicked around and quickly dropped. At least Gemini could carry two and, in the context of the heavily-studied Lunar Gemini proposals, one man could tend the Gemini in lunar orbit while his crewmate flew a bare-bones lander down to the surface. Also, the USSR's original plans for Soyuz lunar missions called for a crew of two working in a similar fashion as the proposed Lunar Gemini missions.

    Just one guy, though? I don't think they've really thought this through enough.

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      Obviously they don't consider the robot to be an astronaut. :)

    2. Nolveys

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      Does JAXA intend to send just one astronaut to land on the Moon

      That's just what I was thinking. Sending one lone person sounds really dangerous.

    3. IT Poser

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      We don't need to have a person to tend a craft in Lunar orbit any more. There are these things called computers which can automate all of the necessary tasks. Computers have gotten much smaller in the last five decades, so much so, they can fit on spacecraft.

      Not that spending the resources on a lander of one is a good use of scare resources.

    4. Aries1B

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      One guy... who doesn't have to come back. Remember that Japan pioneered the No Return Airplane Trip, circa 1944-45.

    5. DropBear

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      "Just one guy, though?"

      Well a few day's worth of trip is a long time to get bored, and they probably considered the supplied in-flight tentacle-rich entertainment is best enjoyed alone...

    6. Mark Dempster

      Re: Just ONE astronaut?

      >Just one guy, though? I don't think they've really thought this through enough.<

      I don't have any more insight to their plans than you do, but what you're failing to consider is that AI/autonomous flight is far, far more advanced now than it was during the Apollo days. The spacecraft could probably do a better job of docking with each other, etc, than a human pilot could.

  7. F111F

    Moon Space Station?

    The other bit of odd news in the article was that JAXA will use a NASA space station orbiting the Moon in 2025...since there is no firm plan for this beyond a few PowerPoint presentations, and 2025 is only 8 years away.

  8. phuzz Silver badge

    How are they planning to get there?

    As far as I know, Japan don't have a human rated spacecraft yet.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: How are they planning to get there?

      ...neither does the US...

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