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Japan enters MOU to explore potential for space mining

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has decided to step into the space mining sector, signing a memorandum of understanding with ispace inc to jointly create an industrial framework for lunar resource mining.

The private lunar robotic exploration company, which manages the front-running Google Lunar XPRIZE team, HAKUTO, plans to send a rover to the moon next year, it said on Dec. 16.

In the next decade, ispace plans to establish a high-frequency transportation service to the moon and conduct exploration missions to map lunar resources.