The Usuda Deep Space Center was established in Usuda Town, Minami-saku, Nagano Prefecture (Saku City from April 2005), in 1984, as an affiliated space center of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS).
The Center conducts command transmission operations to deep space probes and receives observation data from them as they fly closer to satellites, planets, comets, and the moon.
The remote location of the Center was chosen carefully to avoid radio wave interference by reducing noise from towns and air routes allowing for the reception of faint and subtle signals from deep space. The main facility is a large parabolic antenna whose primary mirror’s diameter is 64 meters and total weight is 2,000 tons. X-band and S-band radio waves are used for communicating with space probes. K-band will also be used in the future.
In addition to the Center, a similar type of a large antenna for tracking and controlling space probes is possessed by seven organizations including NASA of the U.S.A., ESA of Europe, and those space organizations in Russia, China and India.
However the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) declares* that twice as many organizations, 14 in total, will participate in a future space probe project in 20 to 30 years. (Ukraine, U.K., Italy, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, and South Korea have expressed a desire to take part.)