Feeds

Japan talks lunar 'bots as commies go hot

Time to stretch those servos

Intelligent flash storage arrays

As North Korea preps a ballistic missile launch over Japan, the Japanese are grandstanding back with promises of robots walking on the moon by 2020.

A government task force charged with plotting Japans future space development said it wants a two-legged robot strolling on luna firma by the end of the next decade.

The drafted five-year plan, outlined today by Japan's cabinet-level Strategic Headquarters for Space Development (SHSD) coined lunar exploration with robots "an important current goal" of its space strategy. Joint exploration of the moon with robots and astronauts was suggested as the next step.

What a bipedal, space-faring Japanese robot may look like

The plan also recommends Japan shift its goals from space-related technological advancements to an emphasis on development that can meet defense and other practical needs, according to Japan Today. For example, SHSD proposed Japan promote research into a military satellite sensor system for detecting ballistic missiles launches and to analyze radio waves sent into space.

Presently, the country is bracing itself for North Korea's planned launch of a multistage rocket over northern Japan, toward the Pacific. The countdown is expected to begin between this Saturday and Wednesday. North Korea says its getting ready to send a communications satellite into orbit, but Japan fears its actually testing long-range missile technology.

Japan initially hinted it may try to shoot the rocket down, but North Korea warned such an action would be an act of war. Japanese officials since backed down, saying they'll only respond if fragments of the commie rocket appear to be headed towards Japan.

Other recommendations by the agency are more peaceful, including a proposal to use space research as a way to promote diplomacy and using satellites to monitor natural disasters in Asia.

SHSD's framework will be finalized late next month, after the public has an opportunity to comment on the proposals. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.