JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

March 2013
JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference
Date and time: 11:00 to 11:30 on March 14 (Thu.)
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (on the 3rd Floor)
MC: Koji Terada, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director


1. Organizational Change
2. International Space Station (ISS)
3. Space Science
4. Others
5. Symposiums and town meetings
6. Future schedule

1. Organizational Change

◦ New Business Promotion Office
On March 1, JAXA established a new office called the "Program Promotion Office." The move is in accordance with a revision of space related laws* last July to swiftly and appropriately cope with new proposals from various governmental offices and requests from the private sector, and to promote program development.
* Due to this revision, JAXA is now described as a core implementation organization that technologically supports overall governmental space development and utilization. Also, as a new task, JAXA will offer support or advice when it is requested by private-sector companies by leveraging our technological knowhow.

2. International Space Station (ISS)

◦ Astronaut Hoshide
After completing a long stay mission during the expedition 32/33 at the ISS, Astronaut Hoshide came back to Japan on Feb. 12, and held a debriefing meeting about his mission at seven places in Japan. At the meeting, he reflected on his 124-day stay at the ISS including various tasks and life there. We had a large audience in all seven venues with a warm welcome. He also made a courtesy call to the Minister of Education Culture Sports Science and Technology, Japan, on Feb. 20 as well as to other parties concerned.

◦ Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo"
We continue to perform various experiments both inside and outside of the Kibo.
(1) Marangoni Convection Experiment
On Feb. 25, JAXA completed the fifth series of the Marangoni Experiment Theme 1 "Chaos, Turbulence and its Transition Process in Marangoni Convection (Marangoni Exp/MEIS)" using the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF.) With the completion of this experiment, Theme 1 is complete. We are now analyzing data acquired from each experiment. We will carry out Theme 2 and 3.

(2) Hicari Experiment
On Feb. 27, the "Growth of Homogeneous SiGe Crystals in Microgravity by the TLZ method (Hicari Experiment)"was started using the Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF). The TLZ method is a new crystal growing method that enables homogeneous crystal growth under the micro-gravity environment.
(3) Stem Cells Experiment
On March 4, "Study on the Effect of Space Environment to Embryonic Stem Cells to Their Development" began. This experiment aims at acquiring basic data to understand the effect of radiation on human beings in space during a long-time stay, while clarifying the function of DNA repair enzymes which a living body possesses.
(4) Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) Observation
On Feb. 22, JAXA found "hyper" nova explosion remnants in the direction of Cygnus through observation of the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image installed on the Kibo's Exposed Facility. This explosion is about 100 times as big as usual supernova explosions, thus its scale is assumed to be "hyper" nova. We had not previously found any remnants of supernovas in our Milky Way, thus our finding was a first.
(5) EVA Support Robot (REX-J)
JAXA succeeded in the verification of spatial movement technology of a robot controlled by a tether for the first time in the world in the course of the Robot Experiment on Japanese experiment module on the Multi-mission Consolidated Equipment (MCE) on the Kibo's Exposed Facility. The REX-J aims at supporting and replacing astronauts' extravehicular activities, and its mission is to verify core technology of "spatial moving technology" which is imperative to realize this robot. The KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3) carried the REX-J to the Kibo last July and its full-scale operations started last October.

3. Space Science

◦ Specifying source of cosmic ray protons by Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope
The international research team with Assistant Professor Takaaki Tanaka of Kyoto University and Professor Tadayuki Takahashi of JAXA found decisive proof that proton contents that account for the majority of space rays flying around space are generated by supernova explosions in the galaxy. The finding was achieved by the Fermi Gamma-ray telescope (jointly developed by Japan, the US, and European countries, and launched in 2008). This achievement was published in the US magazine "Science" dated Feb.15.
Since space rays were found by Nobel laureate in Physics Victor Francis Hess in 1912, the question of where they were flying was a big mystery. After 100 years since his finding, the source of the space ray protons, which had been earnestly looked for by researchers around the world, was finally discovered.

◦ New finding in the mystery of galaxy space ray acceleration by analyzing data acquired by Cassini Saturn explorer
JAXA international top young fellow Adam Masters and his teammates found new knowledge on how high-energy particles (space rays) are generated in the galaxy by analyzing data acquired by the Saturn explorer "Cassini" developed by the US and Europe and launched in 1997. This finding was published in the online version of the British science magazine "Nature Physics" dated Feb. 18.
The Cassini observation of "very rare shock waves generated by a collision of solar particles (solar wind) with the Saturn's magnetosphere" on Feb. 3, 2007, overturned the conventional idea that electron acceleration did not occur when shock waves collided with almost parallel lines of magnetic force. Through that observation we were able to gain new knowledge about the mystery of galactic space ray acceleration.
The JAXA international young fellowship system started in JFY 2009 to invite excellent young researchers from overseas and support our effort to further improve and internationalize in the space science field. We are very pleased to attain such a major achievement through this system.

4. Others

◦ Donation
Donations for specific purposes that JAXA has been accepting since April 2012 accumulated a total of 34,601,000 yen in the end of Feb. 2013. We have used 22,461,000 yen out of the total that we received between April and June 2012. The purposes of use by each project have been posted on the JAXA website with our sincere appreciation message. We are now carefully preparing to use the remainder donated from July. We will report the use.
JAXA continues to receive your donations. All sorts of support for JAXA are very useful for us to implement our projects. Your continued support and cooperation will be very much appreciated.

Total of donations made through the Internet and other means as of the end of February:
5,349 donations 34,601,000 yen (of which 1,802 cases or 16,766,000 yen is for the Hayabusa2)

End of April 3,705 donations 18,537,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,231 donations, 9,583,000 yen)
End of May 4,250 donations 21,721,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,396 or 10,958,000 yen)
End of June 4,525 donations 23,440,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,506 or 12,023,000 yen)
End of July 4,756 donations 25,318,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,577 or 13,380,000 yen)
End of Aug. 4,841 donations 25,838,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,610 or 13,662,000 yen)
End of Sept. 4,920 donations 27,778,000 yen (For Hayabusa2: 1,642 or 15,083,000 yen)
End of Oct. 4,992 donations 28,474,000 yen (For Hayabusa2 1,673 or 15,499,000 yen)
End of Nov. 5,047 donations 29,337,000 yen (For Hayabusa2 1,694 or 15,737,000 yen)
End of Dec. 5,162 donations 33,242,000 yen (For Hayabusa2 1,733 or 16,050,000 yen)
End of Jan. 5,285 donations 34,102,000 yen (For Hayabusa2 1,777 or 16,603,000 yen)

Donation Box in February 65,129 yen (Total since April 2012: 2,031,582 yen)

◦ JFY 2012 JAXA Excellent Component Development Award
JAXA started to present the JAXA Excellent Component Development Award from this fiscal year. This award praises a component that greatly contributes to Japan's space development through space-related component development. An awarded component is selected among the JAXA approved common components for space development use in the previous fiscal year.
For the first year of this award, the "sub-miniature current-limiting fuse with reliability assurance for space development" by Tateyama Kagaku Device Technology Co., LTD. was selected. The award ceremony was held on March 5.
We are grateful if the award facilitates more small to mid-size companies to cooperate and participate in various component development for space use.

5. Symposiums and town meetings

In order to gain more understanding and cooperation from the public, we have held symposiums and open facility events all over Japan.
  • On Feb. 16, the "90th JAXA Town Meeting in Nagoya" was held in the Nagoya City Science Museum (in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.) and we have welcomed about 218 participants.
  • On Feb. 23, the "Space Education Symposium" was held at the National Children's Castle (in Shibuya ward, Tokyo), and about 112 people visited us.
  • On March 6, "JAXA Aerospace Biz 2013, Industrial Development brought about by space development" was held at Ohtemachi Sankei Plaza Hall (in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and about 500 visitors came there.
  • On March 9, "H-II Transfer Vehicle [KOUNOTORI] Symposium, KOUNOTORI, Journey to the stars, Japan's First Spaceship, Recognized Worldwide for its State of Art Technology" was held at MiraiCAN Hall at the Miraikan or National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (in Koto-ward, Tokyo), and we welcomed 253 visitors. Also, we recorded 31,119 accesses for Internet viewing for this event.
  • On March 11, "JAXA Earth Observation Symposium - Toward constructing the robust society" was held at the Koshiba Hall in Hongo Campus, the University of Tokyo (in Bunkyo ward, Tokyo), and 163 people visited the event.
  • On March 13, Ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the flight operations of Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" was held at the Tsukuba Space Center (in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki Prefecture) for the media.

6. Future schedule

  • March 16: The 91st JAXA Town Meeting at the Science and Technology Festival at Kyoto Pulse Plaza Inamori Hall (in Kyoto city in Kyoto)
  • March 21: The fifth Symposium of the International Space Station / Kibo Utilization Outcomes - Experiment of protein, which is familiar to our daily life at Akihabara UDX GALLERY (in Kanda, Chiyoda ward)
  • March 22: JAXA piggyback satellite workshop at Hitotsubashi Hall in Chiyoda ward, Tokyo)
  • April 1: JAXA Tokyo Office moving
    New address: Ochanomizu sola city, 4-6 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
    101-8008 Japan
    (The reception is on the first basement floor)
    New telephone no.: 03-5289-3600 (within Japan or +81-3-5289-3600 from overseas)