Japan on Tuesday revised its timetable for its space exploration plan to land Japan on the moon by the late 2020s.
“Space is not just the border that gives people the hopes and dreams of an economic society in terms of our economic security,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a meeting to finalize the plan.
According to the plan’s initial schedule, Japan wants to participate in the Artemis program, a US-led initiative aimed at bringing astronauts back to the moon, bringing the first non-Americans to the moon.
The plan also outlines Japan’s ambitions to explore Mars in 2024 and find ways to generate solar energy in space.
Neighboring China also aims to become a major space power by 2030 and plans to land astronauts to the moon, increasing the likelihood of Asian space competition.
In May, China became the second country to launch a rover to Mars after two years.
One week after the first spaceship landed on the other side of the moon, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maizawa returned to Earth 12 days later on the International Space Station, announcing his space exploration goals and becoming the first space traveler to travel to Earth. ISS has been around for over a decade.