NASA-JAXA Joint Statement on Collaborative Efforts for Lunar Exploration and Beyond

Boeing Deep Space Gateway (Credit: Boeing)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — On August 27, 2018, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a “Joint Statement on Collaborative Efforts for Lunar Exploration and Beyond.”

Responding to the letter from NASA Administrator Mr. Jim Bridenstine to JAXA President Mr. Hiroshi Yamakawa dated August 9, 2018 in which NASA invited Japan to participate in the NASA Exploration Campaign, including a “Gateway” platform orbiting the Moon, and under the common understanding that the exploration architecture could benefit from contributions and technological expertise from NASA and JAXA, the agencies recognized that the advanced features of Japanese technology such as HTV-X could increase sustainability and capacity to support diverse mission objectives in cis-lunar space and on the lunar surface.

The agencies also took note on the key role of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion to transport humans to the cislunar region, including the Gateway, as well as JAXA’s intent to provide a subset of the critical functions of the Gateway.

Additionally, the agencies affirmed their intentions to continue joint discussions to seek out opportunities for collaborating in exploration on and beyond the Moon by utilizing robotic spacecraft, landers, and rovers.

Both agencies will initiate concrete proposals on their share of responsibilities to obtain endorsement from their respective stakeholders.

NASA-JAXA Joint Statement on Collaborative Efforts for Lunar Exploration and Beyond

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

Recognizing their shared vision for a sustainable exploration campaign in deep space, including returning humans to the Moon and developing technologies for eventual missions to Mars;

Acknowledging that their joint efforts on the International Space Station will remain a cornerstone of their integrated approach to deep space exploration through which they will continue to advance and enable exploration through research and technology development, including development of international standards for exploration;

Recalling the Joint Statement on Space Exploration by NASA and JAXA signed on January 24, 2018, whereby both agencies recognized joint interest in a new “Gateway” platform orbiting the Moon as an important next step in exploration which can benefit from contributions and technological expertise from both agencies;

Acknowledging the communication from U.S. Government officials, most recently by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa, dated August 9, 2018, in which he invited Japan to participate in the NASA Exploration Campaign, including Gateway, in particular;

Noting that both agencies have held exploratory discussions and identified specific areas where Japanese technological expertise could effectively contribute to expanding the Gateway;

Recognizing that the Gateway concept and the overall lunar exploration architecture could be enhanced by utilizing the advanced features of Japanese technology and contributions such as HTV-X and other robotic missions, which could increase sustainability and capacity to support diverse mission objectives in cis-lunar space and on the lunar surface;

Recognizing, in particular, the key role of NASA’s SLS and Orion to transport humans to the cis-lunar region, including the Gateway, as well as JAXA’s intent to provide a subset of the critical functions of the Gateway;

Acknowledging that while initial assembly of the Gateway will be coordinated by both agencies, the ISS international partners, and their respective governments, both agencies intend to continue joint discussions to seek out opportunities for collaborating in exploration on and beyond the Moon, including lunar surface missions utilizing robotic spacecraft, landers, and rovers; and

Will further assess and coordinate their respective responsibilities for realizing a sustainable and open lunar exploration architecture, in coordination with other commercial and international partners, and will initiate concrete proposals to obtain endorsement from their respective stakeholders

  • Jeff Smith

    And momentum continues to build…

  • Vladislaw

    Has any of the others signed off officially yet? I can’t recall if ESA and Russia did it officially?

  • therealdmt

    “The agencies also took note on the key role of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion to transport humans to the cislunar region, including the Gateway…”

    “Acknowledging that their joint efforts on the International Space Station will remain a cornerstone of their integrated approach to deep space exploration…”

    The made Japan take The Pledge, lol