JAXA Signs Agreement for Piggyback Launch Opportunities for Small Satellites

H-III launch vehicle variants (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has selected, following public solicitation, and signed an agreement with Space BD Inc. who provides private companies and universities with piggyback launch opportunities for their small satellites when JAXA launches its own satellites using H-IIA and H3 launch vehicles.

Since it started inviting applications from among private companies and universities for piggyback launch opportunities for their small satellites using the H-IIA launch vehicle in fiscal 2006, JAXA has launched 32 small satellites. By providing space demonstration opportunities in this manner, JAXA has contributed to the expansion of the base of space development and utilization and the nurturing of specialists in Japan.

The small satellite launching market is expected to expand worldwide. Through this project, JAXA aims to further increase demand for small satellite launching and create new satellite launching services, while also maximizing its research and development performance by capitalizing on the vitality of the private sector.

Comments from outside judges
involved in screening of service providers

Tatsuhiko Nishimura, Director of Venture Growth Investment Group, INCJ, Ltd.

JAXA has obtained the best partner who consists of a group of specialists in service development and is full of passion, while Space BD will benefit from JAXA’s achievements and accumulated knowhow in the area of R&D of advanced science and technologies. I am certain that this is the best partnership to achieve JAXA’s credo, “Challenging Space Frontiers.” It is my expectation that they will work closely together to create Japan’s unique rideshare services and establish global trust and presence in the rocket rideshare business, where the market is taking shape and exponentially expanding.

Yoshihiro Nakamoto, Corporate Revitalization Manager, Tottori Industrial Promotion Organization

I felt “samurai spirit” when I heard President Nagasaki’s determination to win the global competition in the rideshare launch services for small satellites using Japanese-made rockets. I am expecting that the company will effectively fight their competitors in the infinite field of space.