NASA & JAXA Agree to Pursue Deep Space Gateway

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — On January 24, 2018, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) met to exchange their views on space exploration. The agencies signed a joint statement affirming their strong mutual interest in continued future cooperation in space exploration.

Both agencies have established a strong and committed partnership throughout the many years of cooperation in all mission areas, including human exploration, Earth and space science, fundamental aeronautics, and especially through the International Space Station (ISS) Program.

Both agencies affirmed to expand this partnership in the field of space exploration, upon sharing their long-term vision for expanding human presence deeper into the solar system, by starting with extending human presence to an orbiting platform around the moon, that can benefit from contributions and technological expertise from both agencies, acting as an important piece of infrastructure for human access to the lunar surface and eventually to Mars.

Both agencies welcome on coordinating with their governments to enable an innovative and sustainable exploration program.

Joint Statement by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and
Japan Space Exploration Agency on Space Exploration
January 24, 2018

Consistent with the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting of November 2017, whereby Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America noted the long history of bilateral space cooperation between Japan and the United States and affirmed their commitment to continuing cooperation in space exploration between their two nations;

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (hereinafter referred to as NASA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereinafter referred to as JAXA),

Recognizing their strong and committed partnership in all mission areas, including human and robotic exploration, Earth and space science, and fundamental aeronautics research, and in particular their many years of experience in the International Space Station (ISS) Program;

Recognizing their shared objective to leverage the strong foundation of the ISS to advance cooperative, innovative and sustainable space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, and their intention to continue to utilize the ISS to enable exploration through research and technology development, including development of international standards for exploration;

Recognizing their shared enthusiasm and long-term exploration vision for expanding human presence deeper into the solar system, starting with extending human presence into the lunar vicinity as a proving ground for future missions to Mars;

Recognizing that their agencies, together with the other ISS Partners, are studying the concept and confirmed technical feasibility of a deep space gateway that orbits the moon;

Recognizing the deep space gateway concept can benefit from contributions and technological expertise from both agencies;

Recognizing the deep space gateway concept, supported by NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, enables human presence in cis-lunar space, acting as an important piece of infrastructure for human access to the lunar surface, and eventually Mars, as well as, supporting robotic missions to the lunar surface;

Expecting that the continued partnership between both agencies will yield concrete results in maturing a flexible and sustainable deep space infrastructure to support a steady cadence of increasingly complex human and robotic missions in the boundless frontier of space that will include participation from other international partners and industrial partners;

Welcome coordinating with their governments to seek endorsement of plans for an innovative and sustainable exploration program and their potential respective contributions to such a program.