credit JAXA / caption: Has Fig.6-1 spilled the beans?
Has the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency given the game away with this diagram from an International Astronautical Congress 2009 JAXA International Space Station plans presentation?
Is that a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy with Orion I see before me and what's with the human lander demonstration in 2025?
Is this the new plan, broadly speaking? Has the grapevine network between the different space agencies led the Japanese to broadly sketch out how they expect human Moon exploration to evolve after friendly email banter with their NASA counterparts?
It's certainly intriguing but then it could just be JAXA's plan and that Orion like spacecraft could be a JAXA vision vehicle for a 2020-era Japanese manned transportation system. Then again the human lander demo reference could explain the mysterious March International Space Exploration Coordination Group statement that indicated Altair may not be the only crewed lander - I never did get any sense out of the agencies about who this statement referred too. Stay tuned for more info about the international lunar exploration plans this week