Human voyage to Mars agreed as goal at ministerial space forum

By Kakumi Kobayashi

WASHINGTON, (PNA/Kyodo) –A human voyage to Mars was confirmed as a long-term goal Thursday by representatives from nearly 40 space-faring countries, including Japan, China and India, at the first full ministerial forum on space exploration.

The participants from countries that have rocket and satellite technologies also agreed to begin discussing in detail how to cooperate on various projects including the Mars program in the run-up to the next round to be hosted by Japan in 2016 or 2017.

Nations participating in the International Space Exploration Forum recognized that success in space exploration will be best achieved “by expanding partnerships with the long-term goal of human exploration of Mars,” according to a summary released after the one-day event at the U.S. State Department in Washington.