I'm taking a very brief time-out from complaining bitterly about things to say that this is cool.
The news story makes a matter-of-fact statement about the asteroid having 1/100,000 of Earth's "gravitational pull." That's a little misleading, given that the thing's roughly cylindrical, and more than twice as long as it is in diameter. Clearly, the acceleration due to gravity at its ends will be about one-fourth what it is near the center. Still, though ... what a cool thing to be doing! Especially since I don't pay Japanese taxes. Those who do might not see it with quite as much enthusiasm as I do.
The news story goes on to say:
Japan was the fourth country to launch a satellite, in 1972, and this spring announced a major project to send its first astronauts into space and set up a base on the moon by 2025.
A moon base by 2025 ... do you suppose they'll get it done? One thing's for sure: the U.S. couldn't do it that fast, since we're all risk-averse and safety-first these days (unless you're a swarthy person in the wrong country, that is). And, once again, if someone else is paying for it, I'm all for it. Go, you Japanese astronauts, go!