Asteroid Ryugu May Have Originated From a Comet Nucleus that Contained Amino Acids Needed for Life on Earth

Asteroid Ryugu with north polar boulder (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Sample analysis of material returned from asteroid Ryugu through the efforts of the Hayabusa2 Project Team are being carried out by the Hayabusa2 Initial Analysis Team, which consists of 6 sub-teams, and two Phase-2 curation institutions, Okayama University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research. This paper summarises research results from the Okayama University Phase-2 curation that was published in the Proceedings of the Japan Academy on June 10, 2022.


Comet Chaser Mission Moves From Blueprint to Reality

Artist’s impression of Comet Interceptor mission. (Credit: Geraint Jones, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory)

MADRID, Spain (ESA PR) — A new European Space Agency science mission, proposed by the UK, to 3D-map a comet for the first time has reached a major milestone.

The Comet Interceptor mission was formally adopted by the European Space Agency (ESA) at a meeting in Madrid today (Wednesday, 8 June 2022), moving from the design phase to implementation, with the next step to select a contractor to build the spacecraft and a robotic probe.

Due for launch in 2029, it will see one main spacecraft and two robotic probes – the other built by the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) – travel to an as-yet unidentified comet and map it in three dimensions.

Caroline Harper, Head of Space Science at the UK Space Agency, said:


New Company Established: Sony Space Communications Corporation

Will conduct space optical communications business

Graphic representation of the difference in data rates between radio and laser communications. (Credits: NASA)

NEW YORK (Sony PR) — Sony Group Corporation (“Sony Group”) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Sony Corporation of America (“SCA”), has formed a new company, Sony Space Communications Corporation (“SSC”), to conduct space optical communications.


President Biden: NASA to Welcome Japanese Astronaut Aboard Gateway

Artemis Gateway orbiting the moon. (Credit: NASA)

TOKYO (NASA PR) — President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met in Tokyo Monday where they announced progress on collaboration for human and robotic lunar missions. They confirmed their commitment to include a Japanese astronaut aboard the lunar Gateway outpost and their shared ambition to see a future Japanese astronaut land on the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program. 


NASA, Partners Offer Global View of Environmental Changes

NASA, ESA, and JAXA have created a tri-agency dashboard that combines their resources, technical knowledge and expertise to strengthen our global understanding of the changing environment and its economic effects. (Image Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Continuing the collaboration that produced the COVID-19 Earth Observing Dashboard in 2020, NASA and its international partners in Europe and Japan have combined the collective scientific power of their Earth-observing satellite data in expanding the online resource to document a broad array of planet-wide changes in the environment and human society.


IHI Aerospace Receives First Commercial Launch Order for 2 iQPS Commercial Earth Observation Satellites on Epsilon

Epsilon launch (Credit: JAXA webcast)

TOKYO (IHI Aerospace PR) — IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd (hereinafter ‘IA’) received order for launching the small SAR satellites owned by Institute for Q-Shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (hereinafter ‘iQPS’). IA and iQPS signed the contract for launch service of QPS-SAR-3 and QPS-SAR-4 on April 18, 2022.

QPS-SAR-3 and QPS-SAR-4 are under manufacturing by iQPS with more than 25 partner companies in northern Kyushu and other parts of Japan. Two satellites will be launched by Epsilon flight #6 in Japanese FY 2022 from Uchinoura Space Center in Kyushu. This is first commercial launch order for IA.


JAXA Winnows Down Astronaut Candidates to Fewer Than 2,300

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has examined the application documents submitted by 4,127 applicants for astronaut candidate recruitment, and as a result, the following document selection passers have been determined.

Number of successful applicants for document selection: 2,266


  • 1,778 male (78.5%)
  • 485 female (21.4%),
  • 3 other (0.1%)

Breakdown of Astronaut Candidates by Age Group Who Passed Document Selection

Age GroupSuccessful Applicants (Document Selection)Total Applicants
20s or younger483 (21.3%)811 (19.7%)
30s1,084 (47.8%)1,850 (44.8%)
40s513 (22.6%)973 (23.6%)
50s163 (7.2%)424 (10.3%)
60s and over23 (1.0%)69 (1.7%)
* Since the composition ratio is rounded to the first decimal place, the total is not necessarily 100.

Future Plans

The 0th selection English test will be held on May 8th (Sunday), and only those who have passed the English test will be held a general liberal arts test on May 29th (Sunday). Both will be carried out online.

JAXA Allows Researchers to Connect to ISS Research via Cloud Computing

Japanese Experiment Module, aka, Kibo (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has sent users to the mission equipment installed on the outboard experiment platform of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” at the International Space Station (ISS). We have built and operated the “Kibo” external operation management system on the cloud, which enables connection and operation from outside the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center such as offices and laboratories via a secure network.


ESA Ends Cooperation with Russia on 3 Lunar Missions, Deepens Cooperation with U.S. & Japan

PARIS (ESA PR) — Following the Russian aggression against Ukraine, ESA’s Director General has initiated a comprehensive review of all activities currently undertaken in cooperation with Russia and Ukraine. The objective is to determine the possible consequences of this new geopolitical context for ESA programmes and activities and to create a more resilient and robust space infrastructure for Europe.

The ESA Council on 13 April acknowledged the following findings and took the following decisions.


Fujitsu Delivers New Technology to JAXA for Mapping and Analyzing Space Debris

Figure 1: Overview of the JAXA SSA System. (Credit: Fujitsu)

New analysis system will play a key role in JAXA’s “Space Situational Awareness System”

TOKYO, Apr 05, 2022 (Fujitsu PR) — Fujitsu today announced the development and deployment of a new analysis system to calculate orbital courses of space debris for use with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) “Space Situational Awareness System” (“SSA system”) for monitoring space debris. JAXA started operations of the new system at the Tsukuba Space Center on April 1, 2022.

JAXA will utilize the new technology to create plans on effective space debris observation, drawing on observation data from radar and optical telescope to calculate the trajectory of space debris and perform comparative analysis with the path of JAXA satellites. In case the system detects space debris approaching satellites, it will support the operators at JAXA in quickly responding to risks and avoid any possible collisions with the space debris by automatically calculating the possibility of a predicted collision and necessary course changes.


JAXA Astronaut Selection Attracts More Than 4,000 Applicants

JAXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi is pictured inside the newly arrived upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle on December 7, 2020. Safety goggles and masks are required when a crew member opens the hatch and enters a new spacecraft for the first time due to dust and debris that may have been dislodged during the ascent to space. (Credits: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is a new candidate for Japanese astronauts assuming activities on the International Space Station (ISS), the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, the lunar manned base “Gateway”, and the lunar surface. The deadline for recruitment is noon on Monday, April 4, 2022. We are pleased to inform you that we have received the final application as shown below.

Total number of applications: 4,127


Japan Conducts Tests on H3 Rocket’s LE-9 Engine to Address Instability Issues

LE-9 engine (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — We are pleased to inform you that the combustion test (blade vibration measurement test) of the LE-9 engine currently under development by JAXA as the first stage liquid fuel engine of the H3 rocket will be conducted as follows.

The LE-9 engine is considering multiple proposals in parallel as countermeasures to the problems that occurred in the past tests, and this test is to verify to narrow down the countermeasure proposals.


NASA Finds 2022 Arctic Winter Sea Ice 10th-Lowest on Record

This image visualizes wintertime sea ice change in the Arctic using data provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” satellite, which is part of a NASA-led partnership to operate several Earth-observing satellites. The full video can be accessed at (Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

By Roberto Molar Candanosa
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — Arctic sea ice appeared to have hit its annual maximum extent on Feb. 25 after growing through the fall and winter. This year’s wintertime extent is the 10th-lowest in the satellite record maintained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, one of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers.


1,563 Apply to Become Japanese Astronauts

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA ) started accepting applications for new astronaut candidates from noon on December 20, 2021 ( Monday), and ended at noon on March 4, 2022 ( Friday ). The number of applicants *1 who have applied from many people and completed the application procedure as of noon on March 4 ( Friday) is as follows.

Number of applicants (as of 3/4 noon): 1,563 (female ratio: 20%)

The final number of applicants*2 will be confirmed after the deadline for submitting the health certificate results (including the health certificate) (noon on April 4 (Monday)), and will be announced on April 5 (Tuesday). We are here.

* 1 Those who have completed all application procedures such as entry sheet and submission of health examination results.

* 2 The number of applicants announced this time (as of 3/4 noon) will be in good health by noon on April 4 (Monday). Addition of the number of people to submit the diagnosis result.

The number of applicants in 2008 was 963 (female ratio: 13%).

Interstellar Technologies & JAXA Launch Co-creation Activities on R&D of Engine System Technology for Small Rockets


Translated from Japanese by Google Translate

JAXA/Interstellar Technologies Press Release

TOKYO — Interstellar Technologies Inc. (Representative Director: Takahiro Inagawa, hereinafter “IST”) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Chairman: Hiroshi Yamakawa, hereinafter “JAXA”) have new ideas for space-related products. Under the framework of “JAXA Space Innovation Partnership (J-SPARC)”, which aims to create businesses, we have started co-creation activities related to research and development of engine system technology for small rockets.