The United States and Japan are making final arrangements to land a Japanese astronaut on the surface of the moon for the first time, under a U.S.-led lunar exploration program, sources said Sunday.

The Artemis program aims to achieve a historic milestone by sending U.S. astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in over half a century, by 2025 at the earliest, and a Japanese astronaut may be among the next to land on the Earth's satellite, according to the sources.

The two countries were also discussing putting a second Japanese astronaut on the moon and expected to finalize a plan as soon as next month, the sources said.