TOKYO (JAXA PR) — On March 3, 2018, on the occasion of the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) held an Inter-Agency Meeting to discuss furthering their bilateral cooperation. In the meeting JAXA and ESA announced a joint statement concerning the results of the studies of the Joint Working Groups established last May and future collaboration between the two agencies.
JAXA-ESA Joint Statement
On 2 March 2018, JAXA President Naoki Okumura and ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner held a meeting in Tokyo at the occasion of the 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2). Both Heads of Agency reviewed the activities of two joint working groups which were defined in the Joint Statement signed on 15 May 2017, and confirmed progress and results achieved since May 2017 as follows:
Collaboration in the Expansion of the Scope of Activities
Based on the results of the working group, the two Heads of Agency recognize the significance of future sustainable lunar exploration and shared information about respective JAXA and ESA exploration scenarios. Both Heads of Agency support the concept of the mission scenario detailed in the ISECG Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) 3rd edition including the Deep Space Gateway (DSG), and support the cooperative study of the technology demonstration mission for future lunar exploration, that ESA, JAXA and Canadian Space Agency are jointly carrying out. This technology demonstration mission aims at maturing technologies for propulsion, guidance, navigation, long-range surface mobility and in-situ resource utilization, to be used in future lunar surface missions.
Joint Efforts to Tackle Common Challenges on a Global Scale
For contributing to effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, ESA, JAXA and the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) signed an agreement regarding the cooperation in the remote sensing of Greenhouse Gases and related missions on 12 December 2017, aiming at making satellite data to be a scientific evidence of the greenhouse gases inventory reported by each country. This agreement is to improve the reliability and to assure consistency of the GHG data observed by multiple satellites through validation and calibration of data from Japan’s GOSAT, the world’s first satellite dedicated to observing greenhouse gases launched in 2009, its successor GOSAT-2 to be launched in 2018, ESA’s earth observation satellites Sentinel-5P launched in 2017 and FLEX.
Cooperation on BepiColombo
The ESA-JAXA joint Mercury exploration mission, BepiColombo, will be launched in 2018. ESA and JAXA support the continuing collaborative efforts, including Public Relations activities, for this significant and long-term mission.
Based on the progress described above, both Heads of Agency agreed to further advance cooperation in these fields.