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As Bridenstine Begs for Bucks at Home, Italy & Japan Move Forward on Artemis Cooperation

26 Sep 2020, 03:58 UTC
As Bridenstine Begs for Bucks at Home, Italy & Japan Move Forward on Artemis Cooperation
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Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

During the same week he pleaded with Senators to fully fund the Artemis lunar program, Jim Bridenstine signed a cooperation agreement with Italy and a key partner, Japan, moved forward with its part of the effort.

On Friday, Bridenstine “signed a joint statement of intent with Italian Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers Riccardo Fraccaro, representing the Italian government, articulating strong mutual interest between the two countries in pursuing Italian contributions to lunar exploration activities as part of NASA’s Artemis Program,” the agency announced in a press release.

“Today’s signing represents the latest chapter of successful cooperation between the U.S. and Italy in the area of space exploration,” Bridenstine said. “With a long history of successful collaboration in human spaceflight, as well as in Earth and space science, the Italian government’s strong support for Artemis assures this partnership will extend to cooperation in the next phase of exploration on the lunar surface.”

What that cooperation will ultimately entail was not explained. But, it was another sign that other countries are eager to join NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon.

Meanwhile, Japan is moving forward ...

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