Saturday, December 31, 2005

Robotic Lunar Base by 2025?

If JAXA has its way, Japan will supply robots to work a mining colony attached to the lunar base NASA wants to build by 2025.

Part of its "JAXA Vision 2025" plan for the future, it proposes taking technologies currently being successfully produced in Japan, like robotics and automobile design, and adapting them for use on the lunar surface.

At this point the NASA space fleet is grounded meaning it can't even finish the International Space Station much less focus on building anything on the surface of the Moon. And it seems the JAXA plan for a robotic colony really depends on NASA building a base there; Both space programs having been intertwined for decades, they rely on the successes of the other, so without one, no need for the other.

Since the Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency budget is about $1.1 billion (US) compared to NASA's nearly $11 billion, it makes sense that they are looking only to supply the robots, equipment and help with construction of the base, not do the whole job themselves...

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