Russia & Japan Want Moon Bases

Move over Newt Gingrich, you’ve got company.

At the Global Space Exploration Conference, which started on May 22 — the same day SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon capsule towards the ISS, which is why NASA administrator Charles Bolden was absent from the conference — Russia and Japan laid out their plans for space exploration, both focusing on Earth’s natural satellite. “We’re not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago. We’re talking about establishing permanent bases,” said Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Japan’s space exploration goals for the near future are similar to those of Russia. “We are looking at the moon as our next target for human exploraiton,” said Yuichi Yamaura, an associate executive director at JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency.