Hayabusa2 Images Artificial Crater on Asteroid Ryugu

S-Booster Competition Seeks Commercial Space Ideas in Asia


S-Booster is looking for new business ideas to utilize space assets from those who aim for launching a new project in the company or starting his or her own business. Through mentoring by space business experts, the selected entrants will receive support such as how to commercialize an idea and to capitalize it. S-Booster finalists will be presenting their own business ideas directly to investors and business companies who are keen to support great space projects, where we believe organic matching happen to realize subsequent commercialization of the great ideas.

In its third year, S-Booster 2019 will expand the recruitment area to Asia – Oceania region and invite space and business ideas broadly.

Qualifying session will be held separately for those from Japan and from other Asian region, and those who are selected from each session will go into the Final Presentation held in Tokyo on November 25, 2019.

For more information, click here.

We Return to the Moon, But We Won’t Do It Alone

Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Jim Bridenstine Blog
NASA Administrator

When President Donald Trump charged NASA with returning to the Moon, he specified that we partner with industry and other nations to make it possible. Today, on the first day of the 35thSpace Symposium in Colorado we continue our commitment to work with innovative partners as we chart our path forward to the moon in 2024.

The Space Symposium provided me and the NASA team a unique opportunity for dialogue, as it is the first major international public forum to discuss President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s 2024 moon challenge.  Earlier today I met with several members of the international community to discuss our lunar exploration plans and reiterated NASA’s commitment to move forward to the Moon with strong international collaboration.

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Counting the Many Ways the International Space Station Benefits Humanity

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The third edition of NASA’s “International Space Station Benefits for Humanity” book now is available. The new edition fills more than 200 pages with the many benefits of conducting research on the orbiting microgravity laboratory and includes new assessments of the economic value — as well as greater detail about the scientific value — of the International Space Station.

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Japan’s Hayabusa2 Blasts Asteroid Ryugu

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)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

After billions of years of being bombarded by cosmic debris, the Earth finally struck back on Friday.

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft bombed the asteroid Ryugu in an ambitious attempt to collect samples from beneath the rocky world’s surface. JAXA has confirmed that the orbiter is safe and sound following the operation. The space agency is still downloading images and data acquired during the operation.

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JAXA Space Exploration Hub Center Co-Produces Results on Remote and Automatic Control to Build Lunar Base

Computer generated image of remotely operated construction of lunar base. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — National Research and Development Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (President: Hiroshi Yamakawa, hereafter JAXA) and Kajima Corporation (President and Representative Director: Yoshikazu Oshimi) have promoted research and development on the remote construction system by coordination of remote and automatic control.*

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JAXA, UNOSA Open Fifth Round of KiboCUBE

Successful deployment of 1KUNS-PF (Kenyan Satellite, selected as first round of KiboCUBE) from Kibo in May, 2018. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is pleased to announce the opening of the fifth round of KiboCUBE.

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Super Low Altitude Tsubame Satellite Transitions to Orbit Keeping Operations

The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — National Research and Exploration Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Tsubame (*1), The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite, on December 23, 2017. The Tsubame satellite completed its orbit transfer phase and will transition on April 2 to the orbit keeping phase, powered by the ion engines.

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Space BD, JAXA Sign Agreement on Use of Kibo Exposed Platform

Japanese KIBO module

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Space BD Inc., a space start-up company, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a national research and development agency, signed a basic agreement to promote utilization of EF utilization platform using the IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP) and to be active as service providers capable of providing EF utilization platform services on Kibo of the International Space Station.

Space BD Inc. will start their business activity soon and will provide their on-orbit service with users around the world to perform on-orbit demonstration of material, EEE parts and components and earth observation mission etc. from early 2020.

Space BD, Satlantis Sign Agreement to Install Optical Instrument Outside Kibo Module

Japanese KIBO module

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc. received a contract from a Spanish start-up company Satlantis, for an integrated in-orbit demonstration service of the “Integrated Standard Imager for Microsatellites (hereafter iSIM)”, a satellite optical instrument that the company has developed.

The demonstration mission will utilise the “IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP)”, the exposed facility of the Japanese Experimental Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station (ISS). This is the first time that a non-Japanese technology is demonstrated on i-SEEP.

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Earth Strikes Back: Hayabusa2 Prepares to Blast the Bejesus Out of Ryugu

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)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For billions of years, the surface of the Earth has been bombarded by unwanted cosmic visitors. Meteors, comets and asteroids have blasted massive holes in the surface of our planet, resulting in catastrophic climate change, mass extinctions and, according to one theory, the moon itself.

Early next month, the Earth will finally strike back. Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft is preparing to bomb the asteroid Ryugu to obtain a sample from beneath the world’s rocky surface.

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Hayabusa2 Status Reports From JAXA

Figure 2: Touchdown image overlapped with the planned touchdown site. The white dot at the end of the arrow is the target marker. (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST)

Status Reports From Asteroid Ryugu
Courtesy of JAXA

Hayabusa2 Status (Week of 2019.3.4)

This week, we conducted the “Descent Observation” operation (DO-S01) from 3/6 to 3/8 in order to observe a future touchdown candidate site (S01) in detail. This was the first descent to an altitude of 22m since the 2/22 touchdown. In the first half of the week, we adjusted the pressure of the RCS (thrusters) and found them to be in good condition.

As the Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-W1) appeared to be dusty from the previous touchdown, we did not know if there would be any issues during this descent with the camera or other instruments that we would have to deal with. Luckily, all devices worked normally and we obtained detailed data of S01. The spacecraft returned to the home poison on 3/9 and we are now preparing for the next “crater search” operation (CRA1).

Hayabusa2 status (Week of 2019.2.25)

Immediately after returning to the “home position” at a 20km altitude after the TD1-L08E operation on 2/23, we began a BOX-C operation in which the spacecraft descends to an altitude of about 5km. As one of the observations in this this operation, we observed around the Otohime boulder.

We also downloaded the data obtained by the last touchdown operation (TD1-L08E) and from this BOX-C operation, as well as checking the health of the bus equipment for next week’s “Descent Observation” operation (DO-S01). We had many days of bad weather, and the operation time at the Usuda station was shortened due to wet snow in a late winter. Despite this, we managed many operations in a short time. The spacecraft began to rise back towards the home position on 3/1.

JAXA & Toyota Agree on Taking Up the Challenge of International Space Exploration

Conceptual pressurized crewed lunar rover. (Credit: JAXA)

Aim is to make future lunar mobility a reality

TOKYO, March 12, 2019 (JAXA/Toyota PR) —The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) agreed today to study the possibility of collaborating on international space exploration. As a first step, JAXA and Toyota agreed to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study*1 of a manned, pressurized rover*2 that employs fuel cell vehicle technologies. Such a form of mobility is deemed necessary for human exploration activities on the lunar surface. Even with the limited amount of energy that can be transported to the moon, the pressurized rover would have a total lunar-surface cruising range of more than 10,000 km.

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ISS Multilateral Coordination Board Says Lunar Gateway is Next Step

Lunar Gateway concept. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), which oversees the management of the ISS, met on March 5th, 2019. Its members[1] acknowledged the recent 20th anniversary of the launch of the first International Space Station module and celebrated the success of the ISS partnership. This international team has not only built the space station and risen to the challenges of its day-to-day dynamic operation, but – most importantly – delivered tangible benefits to humanity.

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