NASA chief says security needed to explore space safely

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine attends a press conference at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) headquarters in Tokyo Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Bridenstine said space security is necessary so that the United States, Japan and other allies can safely explore the moon and Mars explorations. Bridenstine said NASA said that gadgets using the space technology have become indispensable part of the people’s lives and its safety must be preserved. (AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi)

TOKYO — The head of NASA says space security is necessary so that the United States, Japan and others can safely explore the moon and Mars.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday that gadgets using space technology have become indispensable parts of people's lives and their safety must be preserved.

Japan and the U.S. have long cooperated in space science, including the ongoing International Space Station program.

On Tuesday, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, confirmed Japan's participation in America's lunar and Mars exploration projects, including an Artemis lunar mission.

Bridenstine is in Japan to gain Japanese support, including funding, for the manned moon mission planned for 2024.

Tokyo and Washington are expanding their security alliance into space amid China's growing activity.

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