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Topics 2014

December 2014

Dec. 25, 2014 Updated
APRSAF-21 successfully held in Tokyo

The 21st session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-21) was successfully held from December 2 to 5, 2014 at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and the Tokyo International Exchange Center (Plaza Heisei), jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
APRSAF, established in 1993, is the largest international forum in the Asia-Pacific region, annually organized by MEXT, JAXA and local host organizations. It was the first time in nine years since APRSAF had been held in Japan last time. Reaching a record high of 580 participants from 33 countries/regions and 12 international organizations, participants actively discussed under the main theme titled “Leap to the Next Stage: Delivering Innovative Ideas and Solutions” to promote further regional cooperation.

APRSAF-21 successfully held in Tokyo

Dec. 5, 2014 Updated
Hayabusa2 flying smoothly!

JAXA confirmed the completion of a sequence of the important operations for the Hayabusa2 mission. With this confirmation, the critical operation phase of the Hayabusa2 was completed.
The explorer is now in a stable condition.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all parties and personnel concerned for their support and cooperation with the Hayabusa2 launch and tracking control operations.

We would also like to ask for your continued cooperation and support for the long-term Hayabusa2 space exploration mission.
Please send your support messages for the mission. (you can send a message from Hayabusa2 Project page or tweet with hashtag #hayabusa2).

Hayabusa2 flying smoothly!

Dec. 3, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" successfully launched!

H-IIA F26 with the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" onboard launched at 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3, 2014 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The rocket flew smoothly, and, at about approximately one hour, 47 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff, "Hayabusa2" was separated from the H-IIA F26.
We will update you with the latest information on the "Hayabusa2" on the project page.
Please send your support messages for the mission! (you can send a message from Hayabusa2 Project page or tweet with hashtag #hayabusa2).

"Hayabusa2" successfully launched!

November 2014

Nov. 30, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" Launch date was rescheduled. The launch time on Dec. 3 (Wed.) will be at 1:22:04 p.m. (JST.)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA have decided to postpone the launch of "Hayabusa2" and piggyback payloads by the H-IIA F26 to 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3 (Wed. JST).

The live launch report will begin at 12:25 p.m. on December 3 (Mon. ,JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission! (you can send a message from Hayabusa2 Project page or tweet with hashtag #hayabusa2).

We decided to postpone as a result of the go/no go decision meeting today which carefully checked the weather forecast and found that strong wind exceeding the weather restrictions was projected around the launch pad at the scheduled launch time on the previous schedule launch day of Dec. 1 (Mon.), 2014.
*The launch may be delayed further depending on weather conditions and other factors.

"Hayabusa2" Launch date was rescheduled. The launch time on Dec. 3 (Wed.) will be at 1:22:04 p.m. (JST.)

Nov. 29, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon.) 2014

The launch of the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" and three micro piggyback payloads by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 was rescheduled at 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon. Japan Standard Time, JST) after carefully studying the weather conditions.
Accordingly, the live launch report will begin at 12:25 p.m. on December 1 (Mon. , JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #hayabusa2.

"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon.) 2014

Nov. 28, 2014 Updated
Hayabusa2 launch postponement

H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.26 with the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" onboard has been rescheduled as clouds including a freezing layer that exceeds the restrictions for suitable weather are forecast to be generated at around the scheduled launch time on November 30 (Sun.), 2014 (Japan Standard Time.)
The new launch day will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Hayabusa2 launch postponement

Nov. 25, 2014 Updated
APRSAF-21 to be held in Japan

The 21st Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-21) will be held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and the Tokyo International Exchange Center (both in Tokyo) between December 2 (Tue.) and 5 (Fri.) 2014.
The APRSAF was established to promote space utilization in the Asia-Pacific region. The 21st forum will be held in Japan for the first time in nine years. At the forum, we will adopt a newly renovated “working groups” framework instead of the conventional space technology oriented conference to focus more on addressing and solving issues that the region faces.

APRSAF-21 to be held in Japan

Nov. 13, 2014 Updated
New movie "JAXA -Explore to Realize-"

The new video clip titled "JAXA -Explore to Realize-" was uploaded to the YouTube.
Last year, JAXA celebrated the 10th anniversary and set up the corporate slogan “Explore to Realize.”
This video introduces JAXA’s activities in its three pillar areas of “safety, security and disaster preparation,” “industry collaboration,” and “challenge to frontier” with some interviews with JAXA project personnel and users of JAXA technology.

New movie "JAXA -Explore to Realize-"

October 2014

Oct. 8, 2014 Updated
TRMM/PR completed the post-mission operation

The Precipitation Radar (PR) aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite completed its post-mission operation on October 7, 2014 (UTC.) The TRMM has been in its 17th year of operation, well exceeding its design life expectancy of three years and two months.

Launched in November 1997, the TRMM was jointly developed by JAXA and NASA aiming at observing tropical precipitation. The PR was the world's first satellite onboard precipitation radar developed by Japan. 3D observation data of precipitation structure and phenomena acquired by the PR brought about various knowledge and findings that have contributed to elucidating global climate change.
The PR mission will continue as it is succeeded by the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) aboard the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) core satellite launched on Feb. 28, 2014.

Figure: Image of precipitation distribution of Typhoon Phanfone (No.19) taken by the PR just before its operation completion on Oct. 7

TRMM/PR completed the post-mission operation

Oct. 7, 2014 Updated
"Himawari-8" lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F25.

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25 with the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-8" onboard lifted off at 2:16 p.m. on October 7, 2014 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew as planned, and, at about 27 minutes and 57 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the "Himawari-8" was confirmed.

"Himawari-8" lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F25.

Oct. 6, 2014 Updated
H-IIA F25/Himawari-8 Launch Time

The launch time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25 was set at 2:16:00 p.m. on October 7. The live launch report through the Internet will start from 1:45 p.m. on the same day from the Tanegashima Space Center.
Do not miss the Himawari-8's departure to the geostationary orbit.
Your warm support messages are welcomed at the support site.

H-IIA F25/Himawari-8 Launch Time

September 2014

Sep. 30, 2014 Updated
New voyager to travel deep into space! Hayabusa2 to be launched on Nov. 30

The launch date and time for the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 (H-IIA F26) with the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" onboard was decided to be at 1:24:48 p.m. on November 30 (Sunday), 2014 (Japan Standard Time)*.
Launch site is Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center.
* Launch time will be set for each launch day if the launch is delayed.
The latest information about "Hayabusa2" and its launch preparation status will be updated on the "Hayabusa2" project page.

New voyager to travel deep into space! Hayabusa2 to be launched on Nov. 30

Sep. 2, 2014 Updated
Public Data Release of the GPM Core Observatory.

JAXA has started public data release of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, which is jointly developed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), since September 2, 2014. The GPM Core Observatory is focused on precipitation observation from space, and carrying the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) developed by Japan.

JAXA has completed calibration activities during initial calibration/validation phase to improve data accuracy, and started data distribution to the public through the JAXA's Earth Observation satellite data distribution service, G-Portal

Figure: 3D precipitation structure of Typhoon No.10 captured by DPR at 15Z on July 21, 2014.

Public Data Release of the GPM Core Observatory.

August 2014

Aug. 11, 2014 Updated
First Image Data Acquisition by CIRC onboard DAICHI-2

Compact Infrared Camera (CIRC) is a technology demonstration payload onboard the DAICHI-2. CIRC is an infrared sensor intended for observing forest fires, volcanoes, and heat island phenomena.
Since the initial functional verification phase (July 4-14, 2014), CIRC has acquired the following images of Earth.

First Image Data Acquisition by CIRC onboard DAICHI-2

Aug. 7, 2014 Updated
H-IIA F25 with Himawari-8 onboard to be launched on Oct. 7

The launch schedule of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25 (H-IIA F25) has been decided to be between 2:16 thru 6:16 p.m. on Oct. 7 (Tue), 2014 (Japan Standard time). The launch will be performed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA.
The H-IIA F25 will carry the geostationary meteorological satellite "Himarawi-8," which will be operated for observation by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The satellite is equipped with a world cutting-edge camera, thus it is the first launch of a next-generation weather satellite in the world. The Himawari-8 is expected to contribute to improving the accuracy of more meticulous meteorological observations and weather predictions such as typhoons or localized downpours as well as weather forecasts in Japan and East Asian and western pacific countries. In addition, it is envisioned to play a significant role in broader fields including disaster preparation and the Earth's environment monitoring.

H-IIA F25 with Himawari-8 onboard to be launched on Oct. 7

June 2014

Jun. 27, 2014 Updated
First Image Data from "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2)

JAXA acquired images from the PALSAR-2 aboard the "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2).
The DAICHI-2 was launched on May 24, 2014, and it is currently underinitial functional verification. The images were captured during the verification stage.

The DAICHI-2's observation data is expected to contribute to understanding damages from a disaster, monitoring deforestation, and more efficiently understanding farming areas.
We plan to start offering images to the general public in late November.

First Image Data from "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2)

Jun. 4, 2014 Updated
IKAROS wakes up from hibernation mode for third time

The IKAROS seemed to wake up from its hibernation mode in mid April, and JAXA searched for it based on its attitude and orbit prediction to receive its radio waves. On May 22 (Thu.), we successfully found the IKAROS, which is flying at a distance of about 230 million kilometers from the Earth. We will continue to receive data from the IKAROS until mid June to confirm its condition and analyze the information.
The IKAROS, launched in May 2010, completed its mission, and is now revolving around the sun about every 10 months. Power generation is insufficient for seven months out of 10 so the IKAROS goes into hibernation mode for this period by shutting down instruments. For the remaining three months, the IKAROS is awake with enough power so that we can receivedata from it.

IKAROS wakes up from hibernation mode for third time

May 2014

May 27, 2014 Updated
DAICHI-2 critical operation phase successfully completed! Initial function verification starts!

The DAICHI-2 launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on May 24 performed important tasks including L-band synthetic aperture radar deployment after its injection into the orbit, thus its critical operation phase was successfully completed.
The DAICHI-2 will take about two and a half months to verify the function of its onboard equipment and instruments in space. We expect to be able to publish images taken by the DAICHI-2 for the first time in a few weeks to a month, if everything goes as scheduled.

DAICHI-2 critical operation phase successfully completed! Initial function verification starts!

May 24, 2014 Updated
Successful launch of H-IIA F 24 with DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2)!

The launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 24 with The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) aboard was successfully performed at 12:05:14 p.m. on May 24 (Sat.) 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
The launch vehicle flew normally and separated the DAICHI-2 at about 15 minutes and 47 seconds after liftoff. The DAICHI-2 will conduct critical phase operations including deploying the PALSER-2 antenna. We await your support messages!

Successful launch of H-IIA F 24 with DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2)!

May 22, 2014 Updated
DAICHI-2/H-IIA F24 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 11:15 a.m. on May 24 (Sat.)

The launch time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 14 (H-IIA F14) with the DAICHI-2 onboard was set for 12:05:14 p.m. on May 24 (Sat.) 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Tanegashima Space Center from 11:15 a.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet at home. Please do not miss this event!
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #daichi2.

DAICHI-2/H-IIA F24 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 11:15 a.m. on May 24 (Sat.)

May 14, 2014 Updated
"Welcome home Astronaut Wakata!" Safe return to Earth

The Soyuz spacecraft (TMA-11M/32S) with three crewmembers including Astronaut Wakata onboard safely landed in the Republic of Kazakhstan at 10:58 a.m. on May 14 (Wed.)
Astronaut Wakata began his long stay at the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 7, 2013, as a crewmember of the Expedition mission 38/39, and performed various activities focusing on space environment utilization including ISS operations, system management for each ISS facility including the Japanese Experiment module “Kibo,” and science experiments.
During the latter half of his stay as Expedition 39, Astronaut Wakata became the first Asian commander of the ISS and led life on the ISS for 66 days from March 9.
Thank you very much for your support to his long stay of about six months.

*All dates and times are Japan Standard Time.

"Welcome home Astronaut Wakata!" Safe return to Earth

May 12, 2014 Updated
Astronaut Wakata returning to Earth!

Astronaut Wakata is returning to the Earth at around 10:58 a.m. on May 14 after completing his long stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for about six months.
The Soyuz spacecraft, on which Astronaut Wakata will be aboard, will leave the ISS at around 7:36 a.m. on May 14 (Japan Standard Time) and land on the Earth at around 10:58 a.m. (JST.)
JAXA is broadcasting his return trip live through the Internet. We will also offer public viewing services at JAXA offices. Let's support and cheer on his homecoming.

Astronaut Wakata returning to Earth!

April 2014

Apr. 23, 2014 Updated
JAXA English website renewal

JAXA’s English website was renewed on April 22 (Tue.) with a complete new design.
The new content, “Topics in Your Area” showing our global operations is now open for you to find JAXA’s activities in your area.
The site URL has been changed as follows. If you have bookmarked the old one, please update it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Old: http://www.jaxa.jp/index_e.html
New: http://global.jaxa.jp/

Please be aware that when you use URLs for the old website, the top page of the new website will automatically open.

JAXA English website renewal

March 2014

Mar. 25, 2014 Updated
First Images Available from JAXA-NASA Global Rain and Snowfall Satellite

JAXA and the NASA have released the first images captured by their newest Earth-observing satellite, GPM Core Observatory, which launched into space Feb. 28 (JST).

The images show precipitation falling inside a March 10 cyclone over the northwest Pacific Ocean, east of Japan. The data were collected by the GPM Core Observatory's two instruments: JAXA's Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), which imaged a three-dimensional cross-section of the storm; and, NASA's GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), which observed precipitation across a broad swath.

First Images Available from JAXA-NASA Global Rain and Snowfall Satellite

Mar. 14, 2014 Updated
Launch date set for DAICHI-2 on H-IIA F24!

The launch date and time for the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 24 (H-IIA F24) with the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) onboard was decided to be at around 12:05 p.m. thru 12:20 p.m. (JST) on May 24 (Sat.,) 2014 (Japan Standard Time.)
The "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) is a follow-on mission from the “DAICHI” (ALOS). It is equipped with the L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR-2), and its major mission objectives are to secure the safety of people’s lives and to solve global environmental problems.
The latest information about the DAICHI-2 and its launch preparation status will be updated on the DAICHI-2 project page.

Launch date set for DAICHI-2 on H-IIA F24!

Mar. 9, 2014 Updated
Astronaut Wakata's Assumption of the ISS Commander

Astronaut Wakata Koichi, who is in his long-duration stay on board the ISS, has succeeded Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and become the 39th ISS Commander on March 9, 2014.
Wakata will take the leadership of the six ISS crewmembers until the day before he leaves the ISS on Soyuz spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M) scheduled around mid-May.

Astronaut Wakata's Assumption of the ISS Commander

Mar. 7, 2014 Updated
Live broadcast of Astronaut Wakata's inauguration as ISS commander from 5:25 pm. on March 9 (JST)

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is on a long-duration stay as a flight engineer for the 38th expedition mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), will assume the post of ISS commander for Expedition 39 on March 9. Astronaut Wakata will be the first Japanese ISS commander. JAXA will broadcast his inauguration ceremony live through the Internet. The program will mainly relay the live ceremony scene from NASA TV while reviewing his past achievements and introducing future missions.

Live broadcast of Astronaut Wakata's inauguration as ISS commander from 5:25 pm. on March 9 (JST)

February 2014

Feb. 28, 2014 Updated
Successful launch of H-IIA F 23 with GPM core ovservatory aboard!

The launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 23 with the core observatory for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission aboard was successfully performed at 3:37 a.m. on February 28 (Fri.) 2014 (JST).
The launch vehicle flew normally and separated the GPM core observatory at about 15 minutes and 57 seconds after liftoff. The GPM core observatory will conduct critical phase operations.
We await your support messages!

Successful launch of H-IIA F 23 with GPM core ovservatory aboard!

Feb. 26, 2014 Updated
GPM/H-IIA F23 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 2:50 a.m. on Feb. 28 (Fri.) (JST)

The launch time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 23 with the core observatory for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission onboard was set for 3:37:00 on February 28 (Fri.), 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will begin a live launch broadcast from the Tanegashima Space Center from 2:50 a.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet. Please send your support message for the launch on the special website, or tweet it including #GPM JAXA.

Live Broadcast

GPM/H-IIA F23 Launch:
from 2:50 a.m. on February 28 (Fri, JST) (for 70 min)

* The above broadcast schedule is subject to change due to preparations and other factors such as weather.

GPM/H-IIA F23 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 2:50 a.m. on Feb. 28 (Fri.) (JST)

Feb. 21, 2014 Updated
GPM core observatory Live Launch Broadcast to start at 2:20 a.m. on Feb. 28

The GPM core observatory will be launched sometime between 3:07 a.m. and 5:07 a.m. on February 28 (Fri.), 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA's live launch broadcast will begin at around 2:20 a.m. on the day from the Tanegashima Space Center. You can watch it through the Internet. Please watch the launch with us in real time! We also welcome your support message for the GPM/DPR. Please send your support message for the launch on the special website, or tweet it including #GPM.

GPM core observatory Live Launch Broadcast to start at 2:20 a.m. on Feb. 28

January 2014

Jan. 17, 2014 Updated
GPM core observatory revealed to the media

On January 17 (Fri.), the GPM core observatory was shown to the media in the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building 2 (STA2) at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC).
The observatory was transported to the TNSC from the U.S. on Nov. 27, and its launch preparations at the launch site will continue ahead of its departure to space sometime between 3:07 a.m. and 5:07 a.m. on February 28 by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 23.
Updated information about the preparation status in a timely manner is available on the GPM/DPR special site. Your continued support is appreciated!

GPM core observatory revealed to the media

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