JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference September 2014

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:25 a.m. on September 11 (Thu.), 2014
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

First of all, I would like to introduce the estimated budget request for the next fiscal year. As was published, JAXA requested 193.1 billion yen from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and that reflects a 38.7 billion yen increase from the budget this fiscal year. Let me cite some major new projects.

  • Advanced optical satellite: about 5 billion yen
  • Optical data relay satellite: about 3.2 billion yen
  • Innovative satellite technology verification program: about 3 billion yen

In addition, the following two projects under a policy called "Innovation Hub" are related to JAXA.

  • Space exploration innovation hub: about 2 billion yen
  • Next generation aviation innovation hub: about 1.9 billion yen

We requested a budget that includes the above projects and policies through the MEXT. In my understanding, the "space exploration innovation hub" and "next generation aviation innovation hub" are new attempts for JAXA, as an R&D cooperative, to make a big impact as a technological R&D center in cooperation between the industry and academia. In other words, JAXA plays a central role to perform projects not only within JAXA but also by assembling other outside powers.

We requested a significant increase in the budget this time as we would like to further promote our activities as an executing agency to meet people's expectations.

The next topic is about Astronaut Koichi Wakata. He came home and stayed in Japan for about one month from the end of July to August to hold seven mission report meetings, two in Tokyo and five in other regions, about his expedition mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Thanks to the power of the media, including newspapers and TV coverage, Astronaut Wakata's messages were widely conveyed to the Japanese people. Astronaut Wakata himself also wanted to reveal his experience in space to as many people as possible. I think his intentions were mostly achieved with cooperation from the media. I would like to express my gratitude to you in this regard.

In my last press conference, I told you about the support campaign system for the Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2”. Dentsu Inc. was selected on Sept. 1 as the lead coordinator company for the campaign by a selection committee that included some outside pundits. We will invite private companies to participate in the campaign to conduct various projects using supportive funds from them. JAXA will not contribute to funding, but we will provide a certification as an official supporter and give priority for the right of contents use to companies who are willing to participate. We hope that many companies from a variety of fields will join us.

Second phase of Drop test for Simplified Evaluation of Non-symmetrically Distributed sonic boom (D-SEND#2)

JAXA planned to conduct the second phase of the drop test for the simplified evaluation of non-symmetrically distributed sonic boom project (D-SEND#2) at the Estrange Space Center in Sweden between July 22 and Aug. 26, 2014. Unfortunately the weather conditions did not meet the requirements, thus the test was canceled this time. JAXA will study the test plan again.

Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-8" / H-IIA F25 Launch

The Himawari-8 will be launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25 on October 7, 2014, from the Tanegashima Space Center.

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission core satellite data provision to the general public

The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) aboard the GPM core satellite completed its initial calibration operation and started providing “GPM products” to the public on Sept. 2 through the Globe-Portal (G-Portal), the JAXA data provision system for Earth observation satellites. GPM products include DPR's receiving power, physical quantity of precipitation, and Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMap). The GPM core satellite was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on Feb. 28, 2014.
With GPM products, we can understand global precipitation (rain and snow) more precisely, hence we can contribute to improving weather forecast accuracy through data assimilation (*1) with weather forecast agencies around the world including the Japan Meteorological Agency.
*1 A method to compare simulation results of a numerical model and actual observation results to make corrections.

Selection results of secondary satellites to be launched with the ASTRO-H

We have announced the selection results of secondary satellites that will be launched with the ASTRO-H. We recruited the secondary satellites for a fee for the first time, and we were able to reach an agreement with only one company.

JAXA Aviation Symposium 2014 - To enhance Japan's aviation science and technology and international competitiveness -

The "strategic next generation aviation R&D vision" was announced by the MEXT, and we will introduce JAXA's role as well as our operation strategy and specific programs for Japan's aviation science and international competitiveness at the symposium.

  • From 10:00 a.m. thru 5:30 p.m. on September 18 (Thu.)
  • Sola City Hall on the second floor at Ochanomizu Sola City