NASA announced yesterday the signing of a formal agreement between the U.S. and Japan detailing exactly how the two countries will partner in the building of NASA’s lunar space station Gateway.
Under an arrangement with Northrop Grumman, Japan also will provide batteries for the Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the initial crew cabin for astronauts visiting the Gateway. Additionally, Japan is investigating enhancements to its HTV-X cargo resupply spacecraft, which could result in its use for Gateway logistics resupply.
…The agreement also marks NASA’s intent to provide crew opportunities for Japanese astronauts to the Gateway, which will be determined following additional discussions, and documented in a future arrangement.
Japan is on of the seven countries that has also signed the Artemis Accords, which covers the legal and international rights under the project. This new agreement is more technical in nature, outlining who will do what during construction.
Of course, much of this assumes that money will be forthcoming from Congress for Gateway. Right now that budget does not really exist, and its allocation remains quite uncertain.