JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference January 2014

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:40 a.m. on Jan. 16 (Thu.), 2014
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Koji Terada, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

Opening statement

Last year was a commemorative occasion as we marked JAXA's 10th anniversary. One of the remarkable achievements was the launch of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle and its successful injection of its payload, HISAKI, into its orbit. The Epsilon clearly aims to enter the launch service market, thus it is significant that it is quite different from our conventional missions of technological verification.
Other outstanding events are privatization of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle launch operations and Astronaut Wakata taking a role as the first Japanese commander at the International Space Station for about two months between March and May this year. Astronaut Wakata is currently staying at the ISS for an expedition mission. These achievements were highly supported by many Japanese people, hence I evaluate them as appropriate accomplishments for celebrating our 10th anniversary.
Meanwhile, last year also marked the establishment of a new-born JAXA movement for reforming our business model under the changing environment surrounding us including policy changes such as the new Basic Plan on Space Policy and new mid-term plan. Therefore, this marks the first fiscal year of very significant achievements as well as to tackle our old practices for reform.
Before talking about this year, 2014, I would like to touch upon our next big juncture year of 2020. 2020 is the scheduled launch year of the maiden flight of the new flagship launch vehicle as well as the planned return year of the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" to Earth. In addition, 2020 will be a turning point of the ISS operation. In that sense, 2020 will be a remarkable year not only for JAXA but also for the world. 2014 is the first-step year toward 2020.
We plan to launch many satellites this year and next year. The collaborative mission with NASA, the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) core observatory (for which, Japan is in charge of its onboard Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) will be launched on Feb. 28. After that, launches of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), Hayabusa2, and the fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, or KOUNOTORI5) will follow suit. Astronaut Wakata will assume the post of the ISS commander from March to May.
In addition, we would like to make 2014 a year of cheering on the achievements of the new-born JAXA reform plan in our organization culture. In that sense, 2014 will be a significant year.

The unofficially announced budgets which are important for carrying out our operations in 2014 are as follows.

  • Total budget: 181.5 billion yen (main budget: 154.5 billion yen, supplementary budget: 27.1 billion yen) (3.9 billion yen reduction compared to the previous fiscal year.)

The following are necessary budgets for our new projects in 2014.

  • New flagship launch vehicle: 7 billion yen (main budget)
  • Super Low Altitude Test Satellite (SLATS): 600 million yen (main budget)
  • Epsilon enhancement: 1.8 billion yen (supplementary budget)

We will brace ourselves for the new year.


I. Safety, security and disaster prevention
II. Industrial promotion
III. Space science frontier
IV. Education, promotion, and international cooperation

I. Safety, security and disaster prevention

Launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 23

Scheduled launch day February 28 (Fri.) 2014 (Japan Standard Time)
Scheduled launch time Between 3:07 a.m. thru 5:07 a.m. (JST)
Launch window March 1 (Sat.) thru 31 (Mon.), 2014
Launch site Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima Space Center

Press day for the GPM core observatory

The GPM core observatory will be revealed to the press under the following schedule.

Date and time 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on January 17 (Fri.) 2014
Launch site Spacecraft Test and Assembly Bldg. 2, TNSC

II. Industrial promotion

Drop test for Simplified Evaluation of Non-symmetrically Distributed sonic boom project (D-SEND#2): Cause investigation of flight anomaly at the first drop test conducted as part of its second phase

 JAXA has been investigating a flight deviation that prevented us from measuring the sonic boom during the first drop test conducted as part of its second phase of the D-SEND#2 on August 16, 2013. The investigation team reached the conclusion and received approval from outside specialists in this area late last year, thus we will hold a press conference on this matter soon.

III. Space science frontier

International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF)

The Japan delegation led by Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, attended the ISEF hosted by the US Department of State in Washington DC on Jan. 9. I also participated as a member of the delegate committee. At the ISEF, I presented Japan's ideas on the following three points. 1) Importance of space probes, 2) Future space exploration based on knowledge acquired through the ISS project, and 3) International framework. In short, I appealed that, as a scientific and technological nation, it is important to acquire higher technology by maintaining our position in the frontline of the space exploration field and working together under a friendly rivalry with other nations. In addition, I emphasized the importance of the international framework at the policy level as space exploration is a long-term international activity.
At the ISEF, the US government announced its intention to continue its ISS operation till 2024. It was very significant that discussion at the policy level took place for internationally promoting space exploration. Especially, it was a remarkable achievement that we were able to confirm that we share the same intentions as the international society to conduct space exploration under international cooperation and to contribute to attain economic growth and an abundant society through space exploration.
I am keenly interested in one of the main discussion topics that the imperative factors for space exploration are international cooperation and competition-driven innovation. That reminded me of the importance of cooperation and competition which are inseparable.
Also, delegates from participating nations expressed their support for the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) activities in which 14 space organizations are members and for the manned space exploration road map compiled by the ISECG. I think such expressed support was meaningful, and I took it positively that many countries' delegates commented that achievements reached by the ISS project are important steps for future space exploration activities.
The next meeting will be hosted by Japan. JAXA will provide technical support for the meeting. I heard that the US Dept. of State will reveal the ISEF result as a "Forum summary" soon.

IV. Education, promotion, and international cooperation

Astronaut Koichi Wakata live communication event "Space and physical exercise"

Theme: Importance of phycial exercise for a healthy life
Date and time: 6:40 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. on Jan. 21 (Tue.), 2014
(Communication with the ISS will be for 20 minutes from 8:15 p.m.)
Venue: JAXA Tsukuba Space Center

JAXA Industrial Collaboration Symposium 2014

Theme: Satellite Data Application to your business ideas
Date and time: 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Jan. 27 (Mon.), 2014
Venue: Nishi-shinjuku Cocoon Hall A

International Space Station Application Symposium

Theme: ISS Kibo application results and their possibilities -Toward innovation generation-
Date and time: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on January 31 (Fri.), 2014
Venue: TEPIA Hall (4th floor) (2-8-44 Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo)