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Topics 2017

November 2017

Nov. 17, 2017 Updated
JAXA and VNSC sign a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Public Affairs

On November 17, Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) and JAXA have agreed to cooperate in the field of Public Affairs.
JAXA will provide scale models to be exhibited at Vietnam Space Museum, which is under construction in Hao Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi. JAXA will also provide advice to VNSC on the museum exhibit and the operation of the museum.
Vietnam and Japan have close cooperative partnerships up to present in many fields, such as remote sensing satellites and applications, space experiments in "Kibo" and development and deployment of small satellites.
Today, new collaboration starts in the field of public affairs. JAXA would like to foster communication between VNSC and JAXA through this cooperation. We believe such efforts would further strengthen the collaboration with Vietnam, which shall lead to even closer and prospering Vietnam-Japan relationship.

JAXA and VNSC sign a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Public Affairs

Nov. 7, 2017 Updated
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi Selected as Member of ISS Expedition Crew!

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi was selected as a crew member of the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 62/63. He will stay at the ISS for about six months from December 2019.
The ISS Expedition 62/63 will be the third spaceflight for Astronaut Noguchi. He was launched as a mission specialist (MS) aboard the Space Shuttle for its Return to Flight mission in July 2005 after selected as a JAXA astronaut in 1996, and also worked on board the ISS for 161 days as a flight engineer of the ISS Expedition 22/23 after launched as the first Japanese left-seater for the Soyuz spacecraft in December 2009.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi Selected as Member of ISS Expedition Crew!

October 2017

Oct. 27, 2017 Updated
H-IIA F37 with SHIKISAI/TSUBAME onboard to be launched on December 23

The launch schedule of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 37 (H-IIA F37) has been decided to be between 10:26:22 thru 10:48:22 a.m. on December 23 (Sat), 2017 (Japan Standard time). The launch will be performed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA.
H-IIA Launch vehicle No. 37 incorporates JAXA's newly developed outcome to insert SHIKISAI and TSUBAME into different orbit altitude respectively. It will expand opportunities of multiple satellite launch and take full advantage of the capability of H-IIA.

H-IIA F37 with SHIKISAI/TSUBAME onboard to be launched on December 23

Oct. 19, 2017 Updated
The 30th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers

On October 16 through 20, 2017, the thirtieth Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers will be held in Toulouse, France.
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi and Astronaut Takuya Ohnishi representing Japan, will be among approximately a hundred attending astronauts and members. The Planetary Congress, organized by the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), is annually convened to promote the exchange of space flight experiences in different cities of ASE host countries.

Image: The 30th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers, Toulouse, France

*Astronaut Noguchi, elected as ASE president in 2014, is in charge of organizing the thirtieth Planetary Congress.

The 30th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers

Oct. 10, 2017 Updated
Success of H-IIA F36 Launch with MICHIBIKI-4 Aboard

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 36 with the MICHIBIKI No. 4 onboard lifted off at 7:01:37 a.m. on October 10, 2017 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at about 28 minutes and 20 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the "MICHIBIKI No. 4" was confirmed.

Success of H-IIA F36 Launch with MICHIBIKI-4 Aboard

September 2017

Sep. 26, 2017 Updated
UNOOSA and JAXA open Third round of KiboCUBE

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, UNOOSA, launched a three year “KiboCUBE” programme in September 2015, which offered developing countries the opportunity to deploy small satellites from Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station (ISS). This initiative aims to contribute to the technological advancement of space activities in developing countries, and its first and second round of applications have been conducted until now.
In the “Four Actions of Science and Technology Diplomacy to Implement the SDGs” produced under the Advisory Board for Promotion of Science and Technology Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), it is noted that the deployment of small satellites from Kibo will support the space technological development for emerging and developing countries. KiboCUBE is expected to also contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
On September 26, JAXA held a media briefing with UNOOSA in the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) at Adelaide, Australia. During the briefing, there was an announcement of the third round of KiboCUBE along with introduction of the programme.

Photo: Media Briefing at IAC 2017 in Adelaide September 26, 2017
Dr. Koichi Wakata, ISS Program Manager in JAXA (left), Mr. Luis Zea, Coordinators of the Project in Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (center), and Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA (right)

UNOOSA and JAXA open Third round of KiboCUBE

Sep. 12, 2017 Updated
T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

JAXA announces that the Epsilon 3 launch encapsulating the second Advance Satellite with New System Architecture for Observation (ASNARO-2) is scheduled on November 12, 2017. The launch window is 6 a.m. through 6:35 a.m., in Japan Standard time.
Epsilon launch is not new - the proceeding two were sent up to space. Epsilon 3 has had improved its mechanism for satellite separation. Preparation for the launch is underway.
On the day of the launch, there will be live feed from the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center. The details soon will begin to come out.

T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

Sep. 8, 2017 Updated
KIBO Space Mouse Experiment Published on Scientific Reports

JAXA conducted a long-term experiment on mice under two different gravitational conditions – microgravity (μg) and artificial earth-gravity (1 g). This was JAXA’s first attempt using the newly developed mouse habitat cage units installed in the Centrifuge-equipped Biological Experiment Facility (Images) in the KIBO Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station. Following their 35-day habitation in space, JAXA, in collaboration with Tsukuba University and other academic institutions went through the analysis of the bone density and muscle mass of the space mice brought back to the Earth. μg mice experienced significant decreases in their bone density and muscle weights, which were not present in artificial 1 g mice. These data indicate that gravity determines the general body structure of animals. This result was derived through the comparison of the effects of altered gravitational conditions alone, eliminating other variations. At 10 a.m. (U.K. time), September 7, “Scientific Reports”, an online journal from the publishers of “Nature” published this research. The findings will advance space exploration and elucidate the evolutional process of animals on Earth, where the gravity is a principle force.

KIBO Space Mouse Experiment Published on Scientific Reports

August 2017

Aug. 19, 2017 Updated
Success of H-IIA F35 Launch with MICHIBIKI-3 Aboard

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 35 with the MICHIBIKI No. 3 onboard lifted off at 2:29 p.m. on August 19, 2017 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at about 28 minutes and 37 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the "MICHIBIKI No. 3" was confirmed.

Success of H-IIA F35 Launch with MICHIBIKI-3 Aboard

July 2017

Jul. 25, 2017 Updated
ALOS-2 Captures Massive Iceberg's Breakoff from Antarctica

On July 12, 2017, an iceberg split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C iceberg. With use of ALOS-2’s wide-area observatory mode, JAXA was able to capture the entire calving image.
Larsen C, a floating platform of glacial ice on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, is among the largest ice shelves ringing Earth’s southernmost continent. The breakage, taking a chunk of its mass away from the Larsen C area, is now a matter of particular interest to glaciologists around the world, as it could also contribute to sea level rise.
In the past, partial fractures occurred in the area. However, the last calving event is incomparably massive, possibly causing the glaciers to accelerate that flow into Larsen C and more rifts to grow.
JAXA will continue the ALOS-2 operations to monitor the area.

ALOS-2 Captures Massive Iceberg's Breakoff from Antarctica

Jul. 14, 2017 Updated
SHIKISAI & TSUBAME, New Names of GCOM-C & SLATS

JAXA announced the month-long project to invite the public to rename the Global Change Observation Mission – Climate (GCOM-C) and the Super Low Altitude Test Satellite (SLATS), both to launch together this fiscal year. After careful examination of the 12,895 applications, SHIKISAI, meaning colors in Japanese has been chosen as new name of GCOM-C, and likewise, TSUBAME, or swallow, of SLATS.
JAXA is sincerely grateful for the applications.
JAXA will update the SHIKISAI and TSUBAME missions. Continuous support by all is cordially appreciated.

SHIKISAI & TSUBAME, New Names of GCOM-C & SLATS

Jul. 12, 2017 Updated
Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

JAXA is inviting all to write notes to cheer on the project members and the mission of Epsilon-3, to be launched this fiscal year.
The project members of the past series of Epsilon launches have drawn strength from the similar campaigns.
The notes sent to JAXA will be printed as part of the decal (sticker) attached to the body of the launch vehicle. JAXA appreciates the positive participation by many.

Application Deadline: 5 pm (JST), August 7, 2017
*The deadline has been changed.

Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

June 2017

Jun. 13, 2017 Updated
KIBO Experiment Video Is up on Government's Innovation Japan Website

The video of protein crystallization is up on Innovation Japan, Cabinet Secretariat's website - conducted by JAXA's astronaut Takuya Onishi in KIBO module on his last long term International Space Station expedition. JAXA's strategic partnership with Japanese biopharma, PeptiDream Inc. has been crystallized into this innovative experiment under near zero G.
It is part of JAXA's endeavor to help advance pharmaceutical research - our technology, business partnership and the hard-earned results are pushing back the frontiers in medicine.

KIBO Experiment Video Is up on Government's Innovation Japan Website

Jun. 1, 2017 Updated
Success of H-IIA F34 Launch with MICHIBIKI-2 Aboard

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 34 with the MICHIBIKI No. 2 onboard lifted off at 9:17 a.m. on June 1, 2017 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at about 28 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the "MICHIBIKI No. 2" was confirmed.

Success of H-IIA F34 Launch with MICHIBIKI-2 Aboard

May 2017

May 25, 2017 Updated
Freeze-Dried Spermatozoa Preserved in KIBO Reproduces World’s First Space Mouse

Sayaka Wakayama (Advanced Biotechnology Center, University of Yamanashi), Teruhiko Wakayama (Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Yamanashi), Sachiko Yano (Space Environment Utilization Center, JAXA) and other researchers examined the damage that irradiation causes to mouse spermatozoa held in Japanese KIBO experiment module aboard the International Space Station. Using freeze-dried spermatozoa, the research team produced healthy offspring, and thus accomplished the unprecedented feat in biological sciences.
Their results were nominated in “In This Issue” of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, and were published on the website on May 22, USA time/ at 4 am, May 23, Japan time.

Freeze-Dried Spermatozoa Preserved in KIBO Reproduces World’s First Space Mouse

March 2017

Mar. 31, 2017 Updated
LE-9 Engine Assembled, Shipped for Testing

On March 31, in Tanegashima Space Center, LE-9 engine for the new H3 type of launch vehicles was installed on the facility’s firing test stand used for liquid fuel boosters. The test schedule will be available on the website as soon as determined.

LE-9 Engine Assembled, Shipped for Testing

Mar. 29, 2017 Updated
Arase off to Science Operations Phase

JAXA confirmed completion of the commissioning phase of ARASE, formerly known as ERG, Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace. ARASE has entered its science operations phase. The call was made as the following procedure took place as scheduled and was confirmed; the satellite post launch orbital systems are in place, their functions are determined as fine, all monitoring instruments are installed, and the motions of the monitoring equipment are checked.
ARASE is in good condition, with all its onboard apparatus for science observations performing well since activated.

Arase off to Science Operations Phase

Mar. 24, 2017 Updated
Tanegashima Space Museum to Reopen

On March 26, Tanegashima space museum will reopen after its first renovation in 20 years. Among its new attractions are Liftoff Theater where visitors watch dynamic rocket launches, Kibo Photo Spot where photos can be taken that resemble zero gravity, and Rocket Garage where H-II Rocket No. 7 and other launch vehicles are on display.
The exhibition space of Masuda Tracking and Communication Station has also been updated.
JAXA cordially welcomes visitors.

Tanegashima Space Museum to Reopen

Mar. 23, 2017 Updated
Continued Record Low Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

Global sea ice extent hit record low, according to observations from Shizuku on Global Change Observation Mission on January 14, 2017. It is all time low in the history of GCOM-W operation that started in 1978, JAXA continues operation of Shizuku and GCOM-C and monitoring arctic sea ice extent, off the coast of Greenland Sea and the rest of the arctic circle.
Related information is also available at the following links:

Continued Record Low Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

February 2017

Feb. 22, 2017 Updated
QZS-1 off to the Cabinet Office's Control

On February 28, 2017, JAXA discontinues the operation of QZS-1, the First Quasi-Zenith Satellite MICHIBIKI. Control will be transferred to the Cabinet Office. For details, please refer to:

QZS-1 off to the Cabinet Office's Control

Feb. 21, 2017 Updated
GCOM-W: Sea Ice Hits Record Low

Global sea ice extent hit record low, according to observations from Shizuku on Global Change Observation Mission on January 14, 2017. It is all time low in the history of satellite operation that started in 1978, JAXA continues operation of Shizuku and GCOM-C and monitoring arctic sea ice extent, off the coast of Greenland Sea and the rest of the arctic circle.
Related information is also available at the following links:

GCOM-W: Sea Ice Hits Record Low

Feb. 6, 2017 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Jan. 28 and re-entered the atmosphere at around 0:06 a.m. on Feb. 6 (Japan Standard Time.)
KOUNOTORI6 successfully completed its cargo supply mission to the ISS.

KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

January 2017

Jan. 16, 2017 Updated
Successful deployment of six CubeSats delivered by KOUNOTORI6

On January 16, 2017, from 6:10 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. (Japan time), a total of six microsatellites abroad HTV6 were successfully deployed into orbit from the Japanese Experiment Module ("Kibo").
These CubeSats were discharged on December 9 aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 and arrived at the ISS on December 14 ,2016.
On December 19, STARS-C CubeSat was also deployed from KIBO.

Successful deployment of six CubeSats delivered by KOUNOTORI6

Jan. 11, 2017 Updated
Completion of KIKU No. 8 Operation

At 3:25 p.m., (Japan Standard Time) January 10, 2017, JAXA terminated its Engineering Test Satellite-VIII KIKU No.8 (ETS-III) transmission, thus brought a closure to the satellite’s operation.
KIKU No. 8 was built for demonstration and experiment, with the purpose of improvement of mobile communications system. When Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011 broke out, the satellite did the much needed service of providing the internet access for the afflicted region.
Launched on December 18, 2006, KIKU No. 8 marked its 3-year mission period and on December 18, 2016, completed its 10-year design life. The satellite’s fuel ran low that controlled its attitude and orbit after the decade long operation. In addition, an outdated satellite lying in space can undermine the operation of others. Therefore JAXA made a call to discontinue using the probe. KIKU No. 8 was thrown out of its stationary orbit and ceased to function.

Completion of KIKU No. 8 Operation

Updates 2017

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