Japan plans its first lunar landing in 2018 using an advanced Epsilon rocket

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to attempt Japan’s first lunar landing in fiscal 2018. JAXA will use unmanned probes to study the possible use of materials on the moon as well as its environment, which could pave the way for future manned missions.

JAXA is expected to brief a government panel on the project with the aim of securing funding for mission preparations from the budget for fiscal 2016.
The mission involves the experimental Smart Lander for Investigating Moon and would represent Japan’s first lunar exploration attempt since JAXA launched an unmanned orbiter in 2007. SLIM is likely to be launched on an Epsilon advanced rocket.

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