JAXA-NASA Agree to New Cooperative Framework for Extending ISS Operations

Japanese KIBO module
Japanese KIBO module

TOKYO and WASHINGTON (JAXA & NASA PRs) — On December 22, 2015, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed on a new cooperation framework for the International Space Station (ISS) Program and, accordingly, Japan decided to extend its participation in the ISS operations until 2024.

Through operations and utilizations of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and the cargo transporter to the ISS “KOUNOTORI”, JAXA will responsibly produce commensurate achievements from the extended operations.

The Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program (Japan-U.S. OP3) newly agreed today will step-up the relationship between both countries to the next phase. In order to realize Japan’s space policy, JAXA will produce desirable outcomes by promoting unprecedented utilization of the Kibo and the KOUNOTORI effectively and efficiently leveraging the new framework.

Continuous support and cooperation with the ISS Program from Japanese people and ISS partner countries will be very much appreciated.

“We are delighted Japan has agreed to extend our long and fruitful collaboration aboard the International Space Station through at least 2024,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The station’s success is due to the ingenuity and cooperation of many nations, and it is our first stop on the journey to Mars.

“Japan’s Kibo laboratory, launches of cargo, outstanding crew members and innovative approach to the future of human spaceflight have contributed greatly to the station’s success,” Bolden added. “We look forward to our continued work together to generate even greater benefits for humanity aboard this unprecedented, world-class facility.”

In January 2014, the Obama Administration announced the United States was committed to extending operations of the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. The commitment represents the second time in seven years the administration has led the partnership in extending the life of the ISS.

Since then, Russia and Canada have made similar commitments, and ESA (European Space Agency) is moving the station extension proposal through its ministerial-level approval process.

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