Japan Pledges To Land Humanoid Robot On Moon By 2020S

In an otherwise vague announcement, Japan's Strategic Headquarters for Space Development said that it would put a two-legged humanoid robot on the moon by 2020.

This is to be part of a bigger space plan, whose details will be decided in the next couple of years. It's no surprise that Japan is eager to put robots on the moon (they're eager to put robots anywhere), and it's also no surprise that they wish to follow up the robots-only mission with a manned mission, using robot helpers.

Whether or not the robot helpers will, at that point, slay their human overseers and commandeer the ship, perhaps to partake in piracy near the Shoulder of Orion, maybe check out the seabeams at the Tannheuser Gate, that's all up in the air for now. You think I'm joking, don't you? [AP]