Japan Backs U.S. Proposal to Extend ISS Operations until 2030

Science Society

Tokyo, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japan on Friday announced its support for a U.S. proposal to extend the operations of the International Space Station until 2030, becoming the first country to do so.

"The ISS is indispensable as a site for technical demonstration for the Artemis program" for manned lunar exploration led by the United States, science and technology minister Keiko Nagaoka said in an online meeting with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "It is also an important venue for Japan-U.S. cooperation."

The ISS operations, involving Japan, the United States, Europe and Canada, are set to continue until 2024.

Late last year, the United States proposed that the operations be extended until 2030. But Russia, which also plays a key role in the ISS operations, has expressed its intention to pull out of the ISS after 2024.

Meanwhile, the science and technology ministry concluded an agreement with NASA about Gateway, a manned base in a lunar orbit to be constructed in the late 2020s.

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