JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference April 2015

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:40 a.m. on April 9 (Thu.), 2015
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

JAXA took a fresh start as a National Research and Development Agency on April 1, and accordingly, an organizational change took place. We used to manage our operations based on projects, but, now, we established another pillar of “R&D” for JAXA to hold two pillars in order to respond to the government’s main purpose of setting our status as a National Research and Development Agency within the new political framework. With this organizational change, we are aiming to improve Japan’s international competitiveness in the future aerospace field.

Next Generation Launch Vehicle

At the System Definition Review (SDR) within JAXA, appropriateness of technical specifications for each system and the development schedule was discussed for the Next Generation Launch Vehicle. After that, a review for proceeding to become a project was held with outside pundits and administrative officials, and the project was determined to proceed to the basic design phase.
The project will also be reviewed by a committee for space development and application, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and will be studied by a committee for a space policy of the MEXT. We launched the Next Generation Launch Vehicle Project Team and assigned Masashi Okada as the project manager on April 1 as we expected that it would be approved to become a project.

Winning a development prize at JFY 2015 MEXT minister’s science and technology awards

Many of you may have already heard as the news was published by the MEXT on April 7, the following two developments were recognized by MEXT for the development award of its minister’s science and technology award.

Opportunity announcement for Director of Space Education Office

JAXA’s space education aims at fostering children’s “curiosity”, “adventurous spirits”, and “artisan spirits” through application of space related materials in educational environments, then promoting “better understanding of classes” and “abilities of scientific problem solving.”
We have been collaborating with teachers and other concerned groups in many local areas to perform educational programs, and we would like to further strengthen the collaborative work as a summary of our activities during the past 10 years that are aimed at enhancing children’s science and mathematics education, and ultimately carry out our operations from the view point of users. More specific policy and contents will be discussed from now on, but we would like to conduct programs which have positive ripple effects to children by analyzing current situations and collecting opinions with much closer collaboration.
This is the first opportunity announcement for a managerial position at JAXA. We are broadly looking for a person who has motivation to contribute to Japan’s science and mathematical education and is willing to play a role of disseminating JAXA’s values.
More details of the announcement will be published on the JAXA website.

60th anniversary of Pencil Rocket launch

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the horizontal launch of the Pencil Rocket in 1955, which was the very beginning of Japan’s space development. JAXA will hold a commemorative ceremony and a lecture in cooperation with the city of Kokubunji, where the experiment took place.