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Japan has become a member of an exclusive group by successfully landing on the moon. What actions are other countries taking?
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Japan has become a member of an exclusive group by successfully landing on the moon. What actions are other countries taking?

On Saturday, Japan successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon in an effort to achieve a “pinpoint lunar landing,” a feat that has previously been accomplished only by the United States, the Soviet Union, India, and China. This significant accomplishment adds Japan to the list of countries that have achieved a lunar landing.

reminder of the risks of space exploration.

Many countries and businesses are making plans for missions to the moon as well. If successful, this could bring them recognition in the fields of science and diplomacy, as well as potential political benefits within their own countries. However, failure would not only be costly but also publicly highlight the dangers associated with space exploration.

Here is a glimpse into notable recent and upcoming endeavors and their potential significance.

The United States

Next year, NASA intends to send astronauts on a mission to orbit the moon, with plans to make a landing in 2026.

Recently, Astrobotic Technology, a U.S. based company, announced that their lunar lander will soon disintegrate in the Earth’s atmosphere due to a failed attempt at landing on the moon.

The spacecraft, called Peregrine, experienced a fuel leak which resulted in Astrobotic being unable to carry out its mission of achieving the first U.S. moon landing in over half a century. According to the company, a malfunctioning valve is believed to have caused the tank to break.

NASA is currently focused on making lunar deliveries commercially feasible through private enterprises, as the U.S. government endeavors to send astronauts back to the moon.

At this time, the United States has an advantage over China and other competitors in terms of its ability to spend large amounts of money and organize supply chains. Private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have prioritized sending humans into space.

Next month, Intuitive Machines, a company based in the United States, is preparing to launch their own lunar lander.


In the previous year, India achieved the feat of successfully landing a spacecraft near the southern pole of the moon. This region is of interest to scientists as it is believed to contain permanently shadowed craters that may contain frozen water, potentially assisting in future missions.

In 2019, a technical error resulted in the failure of an Indian lander during its descent on the moon. However, the successful mission in August, costing $75 million, sparked immense excitement and pride among the public, with many celebrating on the streets and proclaiming India’s emergence as a leading scientific nation.

Researchers from India announced that the following phase involves a human expedition to the moon.

The achievement is considered crucial in increasing the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the upcoming general election this year.

Since the 1960s, India has been striving to establish a space program and has set a goal to join the International Space Station in partnership with the United States in the upcoming year.

New Delhi views its success in space as a significant aspect of its competition with China, a country armed with nuclear weapons. The relationship between India and China has deteriorated following violent conflicts at the border in 2020.


In 2013, China successfully landed on the moon and last year, it sent a three-person crew to its orbiting space station. It aims to have astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade.

In 2020, a spacecraft from China successfully brought back lunar rocks from the moon, marking the first time in over four decades that fresh samples have been obtained. China became the third nation, following the USSR and the United States, to achieve a manned space mission in 2003.

The space aspirations of China are connected to its rivalry with the United States, as the two biggest economies in the world vie for power and influence in Asia and other regions.

After being denied participation in the International Space Station due to objections from the United States regarding the military involvement in China’s space program, China constructed its own space station.

Both China and the United States are currently exploring the possibility of establishing permanent manned bases on the moon, which has sparked discussions about potential competition and collaboration on this extraterrestrial territory.


Last year, Russia’s Luna-25 was unsuccessful in its mission to land on the same part of the moon that India successfully landed on.

47 years had passed since the Soviets first landed on the moon. Russian scientists attributed the recent failure to this extended period of time without space exploration and the resulting decline in expertise.

In 1957, the Soviets successfully launched the first satellite into space and in 1961, they achieved the first human spaceflight. However, Russia’s space program has faced challenges since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 due to corruption and Western sanctions, which have hindered scientific progress.

In 2027, Russia is preparing for a new expedition to the moon.

The decline of Russia’s efforts and the increasing involvement of independent firms such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX have resulted in the loss of Russia’s significant position in the profitable international space launch industry.

As India’s triumph was viewed as a sign of its ascent to a powerful nation, Russia’s defeat has been depicted by some as raising questions about its worldwide impact and might.