JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference September 2016

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. on September 8 (Thu), 2016
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Yoshikazu Shoji, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

Budget Request of JFY 2017

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) made a ¥ 173.1 billion budget request for Japanese fiscal 2017 on the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The 2017 Budget includes a ¥ 25.8 billion section, almost doubling the ¥ 13.5 billion counterpart from the 2016 Budget, on the costs of H3 Rocket, which is to enter full swing into its developmental phase. There is an additional ¥ 3.9 billion section for the alternative substitute astronomical satellite, which will replace ASTRO-H. ¥ 50 million is reckoned with the cost of general testing of the loading compatibility of the next microwave scanning radiometer. The Budget will weigh with the Diet deliberations. JAXA has the best intentions of making the most of it.

Astronaut Onishi's Stay at the International Space Station (ISS)

Astronaut Onishi has been aboard ISS for 2 months. His lively journal on Google+ gives readers a glimps of his daily life. So far, Onishi has acquired medical data and has paved the way for the conditioning of laboratory missions with small animals. The last extensive-term breeding mission made an unprecedented success in keeping themice alive for 35 days by altering the gravity of the enclosures, one 1 G and the other zero G on orbit. The mice have made their safe return and have been passed on to the hands of researchers on the ground. Further findings are due. The gravity alteration will serve as a new significant laboratorial method. Astronaut Onishi will tackle more tasks- the crystallization of protein and the maintenance of the International Space Station. On Tuesday, September 20, there will be an event "Tenku-Mirai Project", which will connect the three venues, Tokyo, Sapporo, and Fukuoka up with ISS. The Astronaut's fine work will never cease to fascinate all.

The postponement of the Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6)

The launch of the H-II transfer vehicle KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) was initially scheduled on October 1, however, due to the leak detected at the air tightness test, it was postponed until further notice. The leak has been located, the cause has been identified, and the proper repairment measures have been taken.The reassembling of HTV6 and the ensuing tests will be conducted by the end of September. The launch process is underway with maximum caution, in cooperation with partinent parties. JAXA seeks to launch HTV6 before the end of this year.

The Special Pre-Launch Inspection of Epsilon and Exploration of Energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG)

In response to the failure of the X-ray astronomy satellite (ASTRO-H), JAXA announced the implementation of thorough inspection. Since Epsilon with ERG on board is on the heels of launch, extra emphasis is put on ensuring that both are in excellent shape, prior to being carried to the launch point. The teams of experts have been summoned to be at the job. The one on ERG has as leader, a senior manager of Space Technology Directorate I of JAXA, whereas the other on Epsilon is led by a proficient Tsukuba-based individual. So far, the professional personnel have made reassuring reports that the probing spaceship will have a clear path to its initiation point. The countermeasures to the last ASTRO-H accident, however, have not been taken to the fullest extent. Although the directive for improvement includes 4 items, one of the countermeasures to the last ASTRO-H accident, will meet in September to determine whether to give the final go-ahead. JAXA, while keeping in constant communication with partinent parties, is striving to realize the launch before the end of Japanese fiscal 2016.

JAXA Introduces JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics (JJ-FAST) at Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)

In conjunction with the last TICAD, JAXA, in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperate Agency (JICA) held an official side event which featured JJ-FAST. The System, based on the data received from the Advance Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), makes available an all-weather, around-the-clock monitoring of deforestation. Among its noteworthy strengths are quick update capacity, at six weeks intervals, and superior accessibility, requiring nothing more than mobile devices. JJ-FAST especially benefits greatly developing environment where resources are scarce. Director of Forest Inventory and Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo expressed his intention to utilize the System to address tropical deforestation issues in his country. JAXA hopes to expand the application of JJ-FAST for approximately 50 countries, in Africa and equatorial South America by the end of Japanese fiscal 2017. It is JAXA's earnest desire to contribute to the developing nations and to the preservation of tropical forest, earth’s invaluable asset. I, as President of JAXA, am grateful to JICA for its continuous support .

CubeSat deploy from the Japanese Experiment Module KIBO / International Space Station

As part of the joint operation of JAXA and the United Nations, a CubeSat developed by The University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenya will be deployed from KIBO. JAXA offers the opportunity to have innovative mind discharge micro probes from its experiment module, in an attempt to enhancing the aeronautical technology of developing countries. UoN was selected to blast the first Africa-made spacecraft, in Japanese fiscal 2017.

JAXA in cooperation with ispace

JAXA has made Cooperative Research Agreement with ispace Co,Ltd, in order to configure downlink of lunar radiation data to the earth. JAXA seeks to achieve the objective by having the dosimeter PS-TEPC on board HAKUTO, operated by ispace. Since limited data of the lunar radiation environment is measured, the cooperative endeavor is expected to provide more, to the mutual benefit. Moreover, JAXA’s OMOTENASHI (Outstanding Moon exploration Technologies demonstrated by Nano Semi-Hard Impactor), will carry the radiation dosimetry instrument on the maiden flight of NASA’s SLS. JAXA is proud to test both of its measuring devices on the Moon.

The Agreement with Yamaguchi Prefecture and with Yamaguchi University

Through the arrangement made with Yamaguchi Prefecture and Yamaguchi University, JAXA has agreed to promote the cooperative application of satellite remote sensing technology. The Agreement enables satellite data and studies to be applied to disaster relief and to provide necessary information with the victims, thus facilitating quick response and efficient communication and use of the relevant data. Several Prefectures have already put similar approach into practice. It is JAXA's desire to make appropriate use of its resources and to thereby contribute to society. The signing ceremony will be on September 14, at Yamaguchi Prefectural Government.