JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference February 2015

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:25 a.m. on February 12 (Thu.), 2015
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 27 was successfully launched on Feb. 1. We will launch another H-IIA (F28) on March 26. Lately we have been conducting launches with an interval of less than two months, and that is an unprecedentedly short span for us. Thus I highly regard and appreciate the efforts of personnel from pertinent companies as well as JAXA employees who are in charge of safety control operations to work hard to shorten the interval at the launch site.
All related personnel at the launch site are working vigorously for the next launch despite the short preparation period. We hope that the H-IIA F28 will be launched successfully.

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Symposium

A symposium is planned to be held on Feb. 19 for summarizing the achievements of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite over 17 years. The event is jointly hosted by JAXA, NASA, and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT.)
The theme is a "Symposium for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 17th Anniversary: Water - a careful assessment of our Earth's precious resource."
We will also hold an explanatory session for the press at the JAXA Tokyo office on Feb. 18, a day prior to the symposium.
I, personally, am looking forward to hear the long-term observation results, and I expect that its achievements will indicate one of the future directions of Earth observation satellite missions.
The TRMM is scheduled to complete its operation sometime in April this year, as we reported at the19th space development and application meeting on Jan. 16.

Deployment of microsatellite

A microsatellite called "AESP14" developed by the Brazilian Space Agency was successfully deployed on the night on Feb. 5. This is the first microsatellite deployment through the Kibo’s paid utilization.
This deployment project is one of the cooperative projects in the space field between the Japanese and Brazilian governments, thus its achievements are highly expected.
Unfortunately, I heard that we have not received signals from the AESP14. The Brazilian side is trying hard for successful reception, hence JAXA would like to calmly wait and see the status.

Mercury Exploration "BepiColombo"

Let me introduce the Mercury Exploration mission "BepiColombo," a collaborative project with the European Space Agency (ESA), scheduled to be launched in JFY 2016.
The Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), which JAXA is in charge of, is now under final tests in Japan. After this test, the MMO will be shipped to the ESA. We currently have scheduled to send it sometime in April.
The MMO will be revealed to the media with explanations on the project on March 15 (Sun.) at the Sagamihara Campus.

Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2"

Kuninaka Project Manager and Yoshikawa Mission Manager of the Hayabusa2 informed the media of its current status on Jan. 28. As was explained there, we will conduct combined operations of multiple numbers of instruments simultaneously and detailed evaluation of already acquired data during the last one month of the initial functional confirmation period.

Power transmission experiment of the Space Solar Power System

JAXA and Japan Space Systems (J-spacesystems) are jointly researching and developing the Space Solar Power System (SSPS,) and we plan to conduct a power transmission experiment at the test site of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on March 1. The outline of the experiment is as follows. About 1.8 KW high-output microwaves will be horizontally sent from a transmission instrument to a receiving device that is about 50 meters apart to confirm the control accuracy of the beam direction as well as to acquire experimental data. The system currently under research and development adopts a phased array type antenna instead of a big parabolic antenna to show that a cumbersome structure can be eliminated.
We plan to have an explanatory session at the Tokyo office.

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

We had to cancel the second test of the second phase of the "Drop test for Simplified Evaluation of Non-symmetrically Distributed sonic boom" (D-SEND #2) scheduled in Aug. last year at Sweden Esrange Space Center (Kiruna, Sweden) due to weather constraints.
Based on that experience, we are now trying to expand opportunities for a test by reviewing and relaxing the test requirements and securing the longer test period as much as possible.
With the above countermeasures, we decided to move the project ahead to carry out the test in this coming summer. We have already reported our decision to a committee for aviation science and technology of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Japan on Feb.5. We will report the test schedule as soon as it is determined.

Mutual Cooperation Agreement between JAXA and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)

I would also like to tell you that we are concluding a mutual cooperative agreement with JST. We will hold a ceremony, joint press conference with JST President Michiharu Nakamura, and lectures by researchers from11:00 a.m. on Feb. 19 at the JST office.
From JAXA's point of view, we have already concluded an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and we have also started exchanging information with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba. Such movement is aimed at integrating strength from various areas into Japan’s aerospace field, and ultimately, it is based on the basic idea of making JAXA open to the public. I will talk more about it at the press conference on Feb. 19.