Edinburgh, 21 November 2022. – NASA and the Government of Japan agreed on further contributions by Japan to Gateway, the Moon-orbiting outpost, as a key component of the Artemis missions, NASA said. In addition to this agreement, Japan also committed to participate in the International Space Station Program up until 2030.
Through the Gateway Implementing Arrangement, NASA will grant the opportunity for a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut to serve as a Gateway crew member. In return, Japan will provide critical components of the International Habitation (I-HAB) module. These include the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), thermal control system functions, and cameras. I-HAB will serve as the space for the crew to live, conduct research, and prepare for lunar surface activities as well.
Japan also agreed to provide batteries for I-HAB, the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) and the European System Providing Refueling Infrastructure and Telecommunication (ESPRIT) modules. Furthermore, the country will lend its JAXA HTV-XG spacecraft for a resupply mission to Gateway.
The Gateway Program will support sustained deep space exploration and research, including docking ports for visiting spacecraft. It will also serve as a “critical platform for developing technology and capabilities to support future Mars exploration,” the NASA said.