NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX Crew-2 Mission to Space Station

The members of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station. Picture from left are NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and its international partners have assigned crew members for Crew-2, which will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists.

(more…)

Hayabusa2 Asteroid Sample Return Capsule to Land in Australia on Dec. 6

Schematic diagram of the Earth return orbit for Hayabusa2 and operations. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa, President, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Dr. Megan Clark AC, Head, the Australian Space Agency (the Agency) released a joint statement dated July 14 2020. The statement acknowledges that the capsule of ‘Hayabusa2’ containing the asteroid samples will land in South Australia on December 6, 2020.

(more…)

JAXA, Australian Space Agency Sign MOU on Cooperation

CANBERRA, 9 July 2020 (Australian Government PR) — The Australian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signalling new opportunities to increase space collaboration between the two nations.

The signing took place at a bilateral meeting between the Agency and JAXA, and was later acknowledged at the Australia-Japan Virtual Leaders Meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

Read the full statement below.

(more…)

SPARX Innovation for the Future Announces New JAXA Partnership

TOKYO, June 29, 2020 (SPARX Group PR) — SPARX Innovation for the Future Co., Ltd. (SIF)—a subsidiary of SPARX Group Co., Ltd. (SPARX; TSE1: 8739)—today announced a partnership with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which aims to develop the space industry and related sectors through the promotion of open innovation.

Combining the technical expertise JAXA brings as a space agency and the investment and market-trend knowledge of SPARX/SIF, the partnership should help accelerate R&D, expansion, and commercialization in the space equipment and exploitation industries. It also aims to generate sustainable growth and innovation in Japan’s space industry over the medium to long term.

(more…)

NASA, Partner Space Agencies to Release Global View of COVID-19 Impacts

A unique collection of data from Earth-observing spacecraft managed by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will unveil a dashboard of satellite data showing impacts on the environment and socioeconomic activity caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 25.

The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard is a tri-agency collaboration that brings together current and historical satellite observations with analytical tools to create a user-friendly information resource for the public and researchers. The dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.

The teleconference participants are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
  • Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA Earth observation programmes, Frascati, Italy
  • Koji Terada, vice president and director general for the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Shin-ichi Sobue, project manager for JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Ken Jucks, upper atmosphere research program manager at NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington
  • Marie-Helene Rio, ocean applications scientist at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation, Frascati, Italy

Members of the media and the public can also submit questions before and during the briefing via social media with the hashtag #AskNASA.

Audio of the teleconference with supporting graphics will stream live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/live

A link to the COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard along with supporting graphics for the briefing will become available at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, June 25 at:

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13647

For more information about NASA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/coronavirus

For more information on NASA’s Earth Science programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/earth

JAXA to Launch Vietnamese Satellite on Upgraded Epsilon S Launcher

Epsilon rocket on launch pad (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has signed a contract to launch the Earth observation satellite LOTUSat-1 for Vietnam developed and manufactured by NEC Corporation (NEC) on the Epsilon rocket from Uchinoura.

We have signed a contract with NEC for launching the the observatory. This launch is scheduled for 2023, and this is the first time that the Epsilon rocket has been commissioned to launch an overseas satellite payload.

(more…)

JAXA, IHI Aerospace Finalize Plan for Upgraded Epsilon S Rocket

Epsilon launches ASNARO-2 satellite. (Credit: JAXA)

More powerful booster to utilize new first stage based on solid rocket booster from H3 launch vehicle

Translated from Japanese by Google Translate

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has established a basic agreement regarding the development of the Epsilon S rocket and the launch transportation service business using the developed rocket by IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd.

On Thursday, June 11, 2020, the conclusion ceremony of this basic agreement was held at the JAXA Tokyo office, and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa and IA President Takashi Makino signed the basic agreement.

(more…)

ALE, JAXA Launch Demonstration of J-SPARC Aimed at Commercializing Space Debris Prevention Device

Conceptual diagram of space debris prevention device Using ElectroDynamic tether (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — ALE Co., Ltd. and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, as a project of the JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation (J-SPARC) initiative, are engaged in the “commercialization of space debris prevention devices that work by promptly deorbiting satellites after the completion of their mission,” as a space debris mitigation measure (*1). Having co-created the concepts of the project, the two partners have now moved on to the joint demonstration phase.

In the joint demonstration phase, ALE and JAXA will collaborate toward launching their space debris prevention device aboard a nano-satellite during fiscal 2021 for demonstration in space. Following the demonstration, ALE aims to develop a business to manufacture and market the device.

(more…)

Martian Moon’s Orbit Hints at an Ancient Ring of Mars

These color-enhanced views of Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars, result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (SETI Insitute PR — Scientists from the SETI Institute and Purdue University have found that the only way to produce Deimos’s unusually tilted orbit is for Mars to have had a ring billions of years ago. While some of the more massive planets in our solar system have giant rings and numerous big moons, Mars only has two small, misshapen moons, Phobos and Deimos. Although these moons are small, their peculiar orbits hide important secrets about their past.

(more…)

New HTV-X Resupply Ship to Be More Capable, Affordable

HTV-X cargo ship. (Credit; JAXA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On May 21, a Japanese H-IIB rocket roared off the launch pad with the ninth and final H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) (Kounotori) resupply ship to the International Space Station (ISS).

But, the launch was not the end of the line for Japanese cargo delivery. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is developing an improved variant known as HTV-X to supply the space station and possibly the lunar Gateway.

(more…)

World’s First Publicly Accessible “Space Avatar” Launched to Space Station

Space Avatar Experience (Credit: avatarin/Clouds Architecture Office)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) – ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereafter “ANAHD”), avatarin Inc. of the ANA Group (hereafter “avatarin”), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereafter “JAXA”) have announced a new project on the International Space Station(ISS) to release the world’s first space avatar1 experience.

(more…)

Astroscale Opens Series E Funding Round, Secures First Investor

TOKYO (Astroscale PR) — Astroscale Holdings Inc., a market-leader in developing technology and services to remove space debris and secure long-term orbital sustainability, announced on 18 May 2020 that it has opened a Series E funding round and has secured I-NET CORP., a leading Japanese data center provider, as its first investor for an undisclosed amount.

The additional financing will be used to broaden Astroscale’s current business services and achieve the company’s mission of securing a sustainable orbital environment.

(more…)

Japan Launches Resupply Ship to International Space Station

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — At exactly 31 minutes and 00 seconds past 2 o’clock on the morning of May 21, 2020, the H-II Transfer Vehicle known as “KOUNOTORI9” (HTV9), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), was launched aboard H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 9 (H-IIB F9) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

The H-IIB F9 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 15 minutes and 7 seconds after launch, the payload separated from the launch vehicle as planned.

JAXA expresses its sincere appreciation for the support provided by all involved.

New European Drawer Rack Set for Space Station

Image of Europe’s space laboratory Columbus taken by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano from outside the International Space Station. (Credit: ESA–L. Parmitano, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

PARIS (ESA PR) — When the Japanese HTV-9 cargo vehicle launches to the International Space Station on 20 May it will carry a part of Europe in its pressurised module. The second iteration of the European Drawer Rack (EDR-2) is destined for the European Columbus laboratory and will provide even greater opportunities for science in space.

(more…)