The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has announced that it will request 1.48 billion yen in budget funding for fiscal 2020 to participate in a U.S.-led project to build the Gateway space station in lunar orbit. This is the first time for a government agency to request funding related to the Gateway project.
MEXT will also request 10.8 billion yen for a project to develop the HTV-X, a successor model to the unmanned Kounotori transfer vehicle, which ferries supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). It will also earmark funds for projects to develop life-supporting equipment for astronauts inside Gateway’s habitation module and develop an unmanned lunar exploration spacecraft in cooperation with India.
The requests also include 1.1 billion yen for developing technology to remove large-scale space debris.