JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference July 2015

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:50 a.m. on July 15 (Wed.), 2015
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

JAXA has been carefully examining and studying the launch safety of the Soyuz spacecraft (43S), which Astronaut Kimiya Yui is scheduled to be aboard, and we confirmed that there was no problem for its launch and flight.
Securing the safety of a Japanese astronaut is one of our most important responsibilities. JAXA made an all-out effort to gather information and examine and analyze it based on our own method, and concluded that no issue was found for the Soyuz spacecraft (43S) launch. It took a significant amount of time to collect the information, and we also faced some difficulties, but, thanks to cooperation from Russia and the U.S., we were able to gather enough data for our decision.
When I met Igor Komarov, Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS), in June, I asked him to provide the necessary information for JAXA to clarify the cause (of the past failure) by our own method. I also met NASA administrator Charles Bolden around the same time and talked with him about firmly confirming the safety of the mission this time as well as to cooperate to ask Russia for the release of information.
As a result, we were able to verify the safety of the Soyuz launch this time by ourselves.

The Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” has been flying smoothly. I would like to introduce you to the naming campaign for the Hayabusa2’s target asteroid “1999 JU3”. We have been considering how to name the asteroid, and decided to ask for public opinion.
Details of how to conduct the naming campaign are under preparation, but we are scheduled to start accepting your proposals from 1:30 p.m. on July 22, 2015.
We will choose a candidate from your entries, and propose it to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) via the Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) of the U.S. who found the asteroid. The final decision will be made through IAU’s review and approval.

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) informally selected a research proposal by JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, Space Biomedical Research Group led by Satoshi Furukawa, the head of the research group, for the JFY 2015 “Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a proposed research area)”of the Outline of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI).
The name of the research area is “Integratedly Understand the New Controlling System of Life from a Space Point of View”. The period of the research is five years with 10 universities and research institutes including JAXA involved. The purpose of the research proposal this time is not merely for space research, but also to contribute to understanding the life controlling system on the ground through study on the influence of life and living creatures from the space environment such as microgravity, radiation, and long-term isolation in a closed environment.

JAXA has been evaluating the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) from various points of view including the significance and purpose of lunar exploration and the feasibility of soft landing technology onto a gravity celestial body.
JAXA engineers were summoned to study technologies for soft landings and pin-point landings on a gravity celestial body, and a redundancy system for a risk of a breakdown. We still have some issues to overcome, hence we will try to coordinate ourselves and organize those open items by the end of October.
For that, I am considering to form a pre-project team. The SLIM has been studied for a basic evaluation by a working group within the ISAS (the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences) of JAXA, but we now need to examine it more comprehensively to see if it is feasible to become a project including the necessary budget. Following our regular process, we will move the SLIM to the preparation phase to be a project and discuss more details of the plan.

When I went to the Paris Air Show (Salon International de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, Paris-Le Bourget) in June, We had a bilateral meeting with NASA in which not only NASA administrator Charles Bolden but also Dr. Jaiwon Shin (NASA Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate) attended and also JAXA’s Vice President Kazuhiro Nakahasi (in charge of the Institute of Aeronautical Technology) participated. It was the first time to have such a bilateral meeting for the aeronautic field.
Regarding collaboration in the aeronautic field, NASA serves as the chairperson and JAXA as a vice chairperson at the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR), and JAXA will take over the chairpersonship from NASA in October. In addition, JAXA and NASA are conducting a joint research in this field. Both parties confirmed that we will further promote our collaboration in this area.

First Space Exploration Open Innovation Forum

  • Kansai region
    Date and time: 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. on July 9 (Thu.)
    Venue: The Kobe Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Kanto region
    Date and time: 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. on July 16 (Thu.)
    Site: Sola City Conference Center, Sola City Hall [EAST]
  • Kyushu region
    Date and time: 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. on July 23 (Thu.)
    Venue: TKP Hakata Station City Center

JAXA Sagamihara Campus Open Campus 2015

Date and time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 24 (Fri.) and 25 (Sat.)
Venue: Sagamihara Campus