JAXA space agency wants to head to the moon in 2018

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, wants to head to the moon in 2018.

Published Fri, Apr 24 2015 2:11 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:08 PM CST

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) wants to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2018, in an important first step towards a possible manned mission to the same target. Even if a manned launch doesn't occur, JAXA hopes to use collected data for a possible mission to Mars.

JAXA space agency wants to head to the moon in 2018 | TweakTown.com

JAXA previously reached the moon's orbit in 2008 with the SELENE spacecraft, helping collect information about the lunar surface. The space agency hopes the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) will launch onboard the Epsilon rocket, which is a solid-fuel rocket with only one live launch.

"This is an initial step and a lot of procedures are still ahead before the plan is formally approved," said a JAXA spokesperson in front of the media. A mission to the moon could cost anywhere from $83.4 million up to $125 million, and the Japanese government is working on a proper project roadmap.

If Japan is successful, it would join the United States, China and former Soviet Union as the only countries to land a spacecraft on the moon.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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