Satellites and Spacecraft

Satellites offer a wide variety of valuable services. These include communications and weather observation, which are essential to modern life, as well as astronomical observation and space development. Japanese satellites now in orbit are performing missions in a wide range of areas. For example, they have been playing an important role in assessing and analyzing abnormal weather patterns. For the purpose of planetary exploration, plans are under way for sending probes to the Moon and Mars.

Earth Observation Satellites

In Operation

Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 "IBUKI-2" (GOSAT-2)

Taking over from IBUKI to enhance the functionality and performance of greenhouse gas observations

Super Low Altitude Test Satellite "TSUBAME" (SLATS)

Developing super low orbits and creating a new satellite

Global Precipitation Measurement/Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (GPM/DPR)

Global Precipitation Observation at Three Hour Intervals with GPM Core Satellite and Constellation Satellites

Global Change Observation Mission - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W)

Observing All Environmental Changes on Earth for Present and Future Generations

Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT)

"IBUKI": Global efforts to protect the environment.

Under Development

Advanced Optical Satellite (ALOS-3)

Achieving improved optical observations of wide-swath with high-resolution as successor of optical mission of DAICHI

Advanced Land Observing Satellite-4 (ALOS-4)

Taking over from DAICHI-2 to enhance the functionality and performance

Earth Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE)

Helping to improve predictions for changes in weather

Operation Completed

"Aqua" Earth Observation Satellite/AMSR-E

An Earth-observation satellite to contribute to the understanding of the Earth's water cycle

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission "TRMM"

An Earth observation satellite that diagnosed conditions on Earth by measuring precipitation in tropical and subtropical areas

Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI" (ALOS)

An Earth observation satellite that contributed to mapping, regional observation, understanding disaster conditions and resource exploration by observing the land area in detail

Communication, Positioning and Engineering Test Satellites

In Operation

The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1

The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1

Experimental Geodetic Satellite "AJISAI" (EGS)

To establish Japan’s geodetic origin through accurate land surveying from space.

Small Demonstration Satellite-4 (SDS-4)

Quickly developed low-cost small satellite to accumulate in-orbit data for new technologies

Operation Completed

Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 "MICHIBIKI"

Quasi-zenith Satellite System (QZSS) watching Japan from above

Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA"(WINDS)

New Internet Society with Satellites
Aiming for a society where anybody can get information anytime, anywhere

Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)

One of the world’s largest geostationary satellites will make mobile communications more convenient.

Data Relay Test Satellite "KODAMA" (DRTS)

"KODAMA" Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) to dramatically extend contact time and areas

Astronomical Observation Satellites

In Operation

Solar Physics Satellite "HINODE" (SOLAR-B)

The HINODE, an observatory satellite to study the impact of the Sun on the Earth High expectations for new solar observations through international efforts by the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan

Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace "ARASE" (ERG)

To elucidate high-energy electrons that repeat their generation and disappearance.

Magnetospheric Observation Satellite (GEOTAIL)

Explores the magnetotail to understand the flow of energy from the sun.

INnovative-technology Demonstration Experiment "REIMEI" (INDEX)

Cutting-edge small satellite developed in-house

Operation Completed

X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Suzaku" (ASTRO-EII)

Suzaku to probe into black holes and galaxy clusters to study their structure and evolution.

X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Hitomi" (ASTRO-H)

New space image to be elucidated by X-ray astronomy

Infrared Imaging Satellite "AKARI" (ASTRO-F)

AKARI: Seeking an understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies

Aurora Observation Satellite "AKEBONO" (EXOS-D)

An aurora observation satellite that observed the physical phenomena taking place in geospace while collecting detailed data in collaboration with the ground stations

Lunar and Planetary Exploration Spacecraft

In Operation

Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C)

AKASTUKI will elucidate the mysteries of Venus, Earth’s twin sister.
Japan will initiate the beginning of a new era of Venusian exploration.

Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS"

Space yacht accelerated by radiation of the Sun

Mercury Exploration Mission "BepiColombo"

BepiColombo will elucidate the mysteries of Mercury

Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2"

Hayabusa2 to clarify the origin and evolution of the solar system as well as life matter

Under Development

Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)

Small probe challenges an accurate lunar landing


Martian Moons Exploration (MMX)

Mission that discloses the origin and evolution of the red planet

Operation Completed

Asteroid Explorer "HAYABUSA" (MUSES-C)

HAYABUSA’s mission: to bring back samples from an asteroid and investigate the mysteries of the birth of the solar system.

SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE)

SELENE: The largest lunar mission since the Apollo program