Japan extends participation in International Space Station to 2030

science World

Following in the footsteps of ally the United States, Japan will prolong its participation in the International Space Station (ISS) programme through 2030, said Education and Science Minister Keiko Nagaoka on Friday.

In December, the US promised to maintain ISS operations until 2030. Tokyo is the first of Washington’s programme partners—which also include the 11-nation European Space Agency, Russia, Canada, and Japan—to extend participation. Cooperation between the United States and Russia has kept the space station, a science lab the size of a football field that orbits approximately 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, constantly manned for more than 20 years.

The announcement from Japan was made just a few days after NASA’s next-generation moon rocket launched from Florida on an unmanned mission to launch the country’s space agency’s Artemis exploration programme, in which Japan is also taking part.

According to the deal, Japan will provide batteries and other equipment for the space station Gateway, which is being developed for the Artemis programme, and a Japanese astronaut will travel on board. In May, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden announced that a Japanese astronaut would be a part of the program’s lunar surface missions.