Project would lead to easier exploration of lunar surface.

Present-day life has had mixed results on delivering on the predictions past generations made about the future. We still don’t have flying cars, for example, but we do have a real-life giant, moving anime robot (and if we had to pick one of the two, personally, that’s the one we’d pick).

Now here comes JAXA, Japan’s space agency, with a plan for humanity to take one more step on the path of turning science fiction into reality, as the organization recently announced it wants to build a facility on the face of the moon.

The plan is related to the Japan/U.S. jointly-developed lunar orbiting space station Gateway, which the countries hope to have in operation within the 2020s. The lunar surface facility would be a fuel processing plant, which would collect deposits of ice which are theorized to possibly exist at the moon’s south pole. Solar cells would be used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the water, with the process of later recombining the components producing energy. Producing fuel on the surface of the moon will eliminate the cost and complications of transporting it from Earth, and JAXA says the lunar-made fuel will be able to be used for lunar surface exploration expeditions of up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) round-trip, JAXA says.

Online reactions in Japan to the project have included:

“Whoa – this is like a dream come true!”
“There’re whole new dreams waiting beyond this.”
“This is the kind of news that makes you think ‘I want to keep living so I can see this happen.’”
“My five-year-old daughter is always saying ‘I want to go to the moon!’ Maybe someday she’ll be working there?”
“Time to establish [in-anime moon-based Gundam manufacturer] Anaheim Electronics.”

JAXA says it could have the lunar fuel facility up and running by the mid-2030s, but hasn’t released any estimate as to how much space curry the staff would need.

Source: The Sankei News, Twitter
Top image: Pakutaso

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