The Japanese space agency JAXA has its eyes on a historic achievement as it wants to put a man on the moon by 2030.
The ambitious plan hinges on a proposed NASA-led multinational mission to construct a space station orbiting around the moon around 2025.
By contributing technology to that effort, JAXA hopes that they will be afforded a spot in the space station and, in turn, be able to send a man from there to the moon a few years after the project is completed.
The announcement by the space agency is being seen as an indication that there is an Asian 'space race' brewing between Japan and China, who has announced plans to put a man on the moon by 2036.
Whether news of Japan's plans for lunar exploration cause China to speed up its timetable in order to not be upstaged by its neighboring nation remains to be seen.
And, of course, several nations continue to eye Mars as a future destination for human exploration with the United States looking to finally send an astronaut to the Red Planet by 2033.