In the history of space, travel only the US has placed man on the moon, but other countries have sent unmanned spacecraft to the surface of the moon. Japan has announced that it hoped to become the fourth country to place an unmanned lander on the surface of the moon. The Japanese space policy committee has stated that 2019 is the year the launch will happen.
Development of the rover is set to begin next year. The third country to place a lander on the surface of the moon was China in 2013. Prior to China’s landing, Russia and the US had placed landers on the surface of the moon. For Japan, getting to the moon isn’t the sole reason for the mission.
Japan says that the lunar lander will be developed with new tech that will enable it to land within 100 meters of its intended mark. Other landers sent to the surface of the moon have missed intended landing spots with much higher levels of inaccuracy.
Japanese scientists plan to improve the accuracy of a facial recognition system that will be used to recognize landmarks on the moon’s surface and guide the spacecraft with much more accuracy. Japan plans to seek public opinion about the moon project and its space exploration policies and finalize its lunar plans within the year.