JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference September 2015

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 10 (Thu.), 2015
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

The recently launched “KOUNOTORI5” (HTV5) carried a small satellite of the Chiba Institute of Technology and one from Brazil. I would like to announce the date of their deployment from the “Kibo”. It was set for Sept. 17, 2015. Astronaut Yui is one of the members who are in charge of the deployment.

A rough estimate for the JFY 2016 budget request was proposed by the Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Regarding JAXA, there are four major pillars: a next-generation engineering test satellite, advanced radar satellite, new cargo supplier to the International Space Station (ISS) (temporarily called “HTV-X”), and small moon landing demonstrator.

Astronaut Norishige Kanai was selected as the seventh Japanese astronaut to stay at the ISS for a prolonged period. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the decision during a “VIP call” with Astronaut Yui at the ISS on Aug. 26. We expect that Astronaut Kanai will play an active role based on his special knowledge as a medical doctor to generate achievements in the area of space medicine and life science experiments. The Japanese government is also expecting productive results for its health and medicine study as part of its science and technology promotion policy. We informed the government that the Kibo project places emphasis on biomedicine and drug discovery research. I hope that our activities for the Kibo will fulfill objectives and expectations while stimulating interest in science among the young generations. Astronaut Kanai is scheduled to stay at the ISS in the winter of 2017.

On this Tuesday (Sept. 8), MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura announced at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting that JAXA signed an agreement of cooperation with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) on Sept. 8 for the deployment of small satellites from the Kibo. We will utilize our space technology to improve space development and the utilization capabilities of developing countries under cooperation with the U.N. For JAXA, promoting and providing an opportunity of small satellite deployment through the U.N. means international contributions for maximizing the achievements of the Kibo.

We held a press conference and issued a press release on July 27 about the second phase test of the “Drop test for the Simplified Evaluation of Non-symmetrically Distributed sonic boom” Project (D-SEND#2). The test was held at the Esrange Space Center in Sweden on July 24, and it successfully performed supersonic flight and measured the sonic boom. For the verification of design technology for reducing the sonic boom, we are still conducting an analysis. We plan to provide data on our project to the Super Sonic Task Group of the International Civil Aviation Organization to be held in Montreal, Canada, at the end of October.