The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is proposing an ambitious plan to develop unmanned and manned vehicles to visit the moon
, and a lunar base by 2025. The plan would develop a manned lunar vehicle within 10 years, double JAXA's budget to $2.6 billion, and scrap some existing initiatives.
The purpose of a moon base would be to mine for minerals that are rare on earth but possibly plentiful on the moon. The base would undoubtedly make heavy use of nanotechnology and robotics.Sources: AP (Yahoo!), Spacetoday.net, Futurismic