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Fly me to the Moon: US, Japan aim for lunar landing

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Japan and the United States said Monday they want to put the first Japanese astronaut on the Moon as the allies deepen cooperation on space projects. 

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No non-American has ever touched down on the lunar surface, and Japan has previously said it hopes to achieve a Moon landing by the end of this decade. 

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President Joe Biden, after his first face-to-face meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, 

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, said the nations will work together in the US-led Artemis programme to send humans to the Moon, and later to Mars. 

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Biden said he was “excited” about the collaboration, including on the Gateway facility, which will orbit the Moon and provide support for future missions.

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Japan's domestic space programme focuses on satellites and probes, so Japanese astronauts have turned to the US and Russia to travel to the International Space Station.

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