Japan hopes to have a two-legged robot walk on the moon by around 2020, with a joint mission involving astronauts and robots to follow, according to a plan laid out Friday by a government group.
Specifics of the plan, including what new technologies will be required and the size of the project’s budget, are to be decided within the next two years, according to Japan’s Strategic Headquarters for Space Development, a Cabinet-level working group.
Development of a lunar robot is part of a broad framework outlined by the group, which is charged with plotting a new course for Japan’s space strategy. As a next step, joint exploration of the moon involving robots and astronauts will be considered.
The framework is to be finalized late next month, after the public has a chance to comment on the proposals.
The group also recommended promoting research into military satellites, such as an early warning system for detecting ballistic missile launches and systems to detect and analyze radio waves sent in space.
Other recommendations by the group include using space research as a tool to foster diplomacy with other countries and developing an advanced satellite to predict and monitor natural disasters.
The Strategic Headquarters was established last year by a law passed to advance Japan’s space technology and exploration. It allows the country, which has a largely peaceful constitution, to use space for military defense.
You know what this means. First it’s a simple, little unmanned robot. Then they develop larger, manned robots under the codename: Gundam. A technological revolution begins thanks to the International Space Station which allows mankind to build giant orbital space station colonies that sit in the Lagrange points of Earth. Finally, judgement day.