The government of Japan will recruit a group of potential astronauts in 2021 with an eye on sending them to outer space as part of a U.S.-led lunar exploration project.
The science minister said Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, the recruit was the first time has conducted an intake since 2008.
In a news conference, Minister Koichi Hagiuda said that they will be aiming to have a Japanese national on the moon for the first time in the latter half of the 2020s.
As part of the Artemis program, the United States is aiming to send humans to the moon by 2024 for the first time since the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s 1972 Apollo 17 mission.
In July, Tokyo and Washington agreed to cooperate on lunar exploration, led by NASA. The two countries aim to provide the Japanese crew with opportunities on the Gateway, a small spaceship that will orbit the moon, and journey to the lunar surface.