JAXA President Monthly Press Conference May 2018

JAXA President Monthly Press Conference

Speech Abstracts by Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA
Date and time: From 1:30 - 2:15 p.m. on May 11 (Fri), 2018
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Yoshikazu Shoji, Director, Public Affairs Department

Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation(J-SPARC)initiatives
to co-produce new businesses

Let me explain J-SPARC, JAXA's initiative to co-produce new businesses. At the last press conference, I spoke about the organizational reform that took effect starting April, the beginning of JAXA's forth midterm, in particular, about the restructuring of the JAXA's New Enterprise Promotion Department.

Organized to grow and develop Japanese space industry by expanding the community that uses and benefits from space technology and creating new space businesses, this department seeks to secure the foundation and international competitiveness of the industry. To better fulfill its mission, JAXA hereby announces the new initiative, J-SPARC, JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation.

J-SPARC‘s job is contributing a joint research and development program where JAXA and the partners, primarily private enterprises engage in projects together including technological development and testing. J-SPARC, among other features, provides an open innovation to create space businesses for wide range of industries. It is thus designed to become a platform where JAXA and private businesses both bring their own strengths and resources, much like a melting pot of diverse businesses encompassing those without experience in space.

Three main target domains of this initiative are respectively themed – one: "expanding areas of human activity", two: "solving social challenges on the earth" and three: "enjoying space". One of the J-SPARC plans for operations is a collaboration with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.(ANA)on Avatar technologies. The plans also encompass fuel supplies and other services on low earth orbit, with the future commercial space travel market in view and small satellite constellation operations that commercial space ventures and others have taken up, just to name a few.

To learn more, refer to the press release issued today (*Japanese only).

Dialogues with Other Space Agencies

Upon taking office of the president of JAXA, I attended the 34th Space Symposium held April 16 through 19 in the United States for the first time. I spoke at two panels, on Asia and the pacific perspectives on space cooperation and national infrastructure and security applications for weather and oceans. There, I emphasized the initiatives implemented by the APRSAF, Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum and by JAXA. The points I highlighted were APRSAF's aspiration to improve the lives of those in the region and JAXA's approach to social issues through the earth observation technology. At the heads of agency reception, I drove all home how comprehensive and thorough Japan's contributions to the global exploration missions. The message came across effectively. I also related how JAXA will go about realizing the lunar exploration mission. The Symposium provided the opportunity to have bilateral talks with ten space agencies and government institutions including The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The European Space Agency (ESA). Active discussions occurred regarding the possibilities of future exploration missions and cooperative measures.

Last week on May 1, I was accompanied to Washington D.C. by Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to meet Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman confirmed to lead NASA as administrator earlier on April 19.

The bonds of cooperation between the two organizations date back over four decades, proving to be a fruitful relationship that yields cooperation in quite a few fields. The points that I mentioned at the meeting were the importance to secure the budget to advance the exploration missions, the International Space Station (ISS) budget appropriations and cooperation with private businesses and international partners.
The meeting took place shortly after his confirmation, a little over a week following the event. I am very glad assurance was made that we are on the same page about our cooperation.

Status Updates on Astronaut Norishige Kanai

With his return fast approaching almost in a month, JAXA astronaut Norishige Kanai is very busy with activities. On top of his experiment missions in the Japanese Kibo module, events abounded – last week, the SpaceX (SpX)-14 Dragon departed the ISS. The Cygnus Orbital-ATK 9 (OA-9) is berthing to the ISS at the end of the month. He is slated for May 16 extravehicular activity. Among many responsibilities Kanai is juggling is his appearance at public communication events with the ISS.

On May 6 Japan time, the SpX-14 capsule returned to Earth carrying Japanese experiment samples. All 12 mice on third rodent mission reportedly came home alive. Kanai took care of them onboard. One of the strains used were knockout mice to stress response subject to wide variety of medical researches around the world. 6 of the 12 were the knockout mice allows deletion in the TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR Nrf2 for stress response. This success has proved that the space laboratory can house knockout mice to study various effects that the environment causes.
It is in accordance with his mission theme "Discovering clues about health longevity in space. ", the results will further accelerate related researches.

Tonight at 7:00 pm, the three CubeSats deploy coverage is reported live. The satellites of Kenyan, Costa Rican and Turkish, are launching from the Kibo module. Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Education, Costa Rican Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Turkish Minister-Councilor are watching this at the Kibo control center in the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center.
The CubeSats' developers handed theirs over to JAXA earlier in the beginning of this year. On April 3 Japan time, The SpX-14 Dragon delivered them to the ISS, and Astronaut Kanai did the operations for deploy. The preparations are underway for the live coverage. Small satellite deploy from the Kibo is one of the actions under the science technology diplomacy to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The science and technology diplomacy advisory of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented the strategy to help solve social issues that the developing and emerging nations are facing. JAXA is committed to international cooperation through initiatives like this.
As I informed the members of the press, 2018 marks Japan-Russia year of friendship. In commemoration of this, on May 18, a public event is scheduled where Russian Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and Astronaut Kanai will communicate from the ISS with Russian children living in Japan. Their participation is cordially welcomed.

The Fourth Space Innovation Hub RFP

JAXA operates the Space Exploration Innovation Hub, an initiative endorsed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The Space Exploration Innovation Hub has dual objectives – developing future exploration technologies on lunar and Mars missions and creating business innovations on Earth.
Since Japanese fiscal 2015 when this initiative took off, it has entered its fourth round. Up until now JAXA has issued three requests for proposal (RFP), followed by the vetting process. In total, it has resulted in 54 joint researches with 91 groups, most of which are private businesses.
On April 20, the fourth RFP was made to those who want to participate in the Hub.
The technological portfolio contains four categories-to explore, to build, to create and to live, each of which further breaks down to smaller technology elements. Some areas that this fourth RFP calls for are new and covers the system technology.

The Space Exploration Innovation Hub is open to industries and academics that have the cutting-edge technologies, calling for their participation in space exploration. The RFP closes on July 5. Around August, successful candidates will select a subject and enter joint research agreements with JAXA. Refer to our official website for details.

The next-generation infrared space telescope Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA)

The Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) is a pending Japan-Europe joint mission. In JAXA's strategic plans, SPICA has been identified as medium class, optional mission, subject to technical verification. Likewise, SPICA was the proposed to ESA's fifth medium class mission (M5) in its Cosmic Vision science programme.

The results of ESA's first of the two stages of M5 selection has been announced, saying SPICA is among the three selected proposals out of 25. I believe this is a step forward launching the new joint project. The second stage of the screening process is scheduled for 2021, when the selection will be ultimately made for one proposal out of the three.

SPICA seeks to realize unprecedented far-infrared spectroscopic and survey capabilities of galaxies that contain huge amounts of dust and gases, enabling scientists to better understand the evolutionary process of the planetary system.
Global scientific community is attracted to this project. Nagoya University and other Japanese researchers as well as JAXA have taken part. The Netherlands represented by the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) are joined by other 15 European countries, forming a multinational platform. Other SPICA participants are researchers from the United States, Canada, Taiwan.

Cryogenic technology, indispensable to SPICA is application of technology development that JAXA has long cultivated. Japanese team of SPICA participants has suggested the onboard instruments and observation equipment and has been actively involved in examination of the project.
JAXA is continuously supporting this medium class, optional mission of the country's strategic plans with ESA and the rest of Europe.

Two Aeronautical Technology Directorate Initiatives

Here, let me feature two topics that our Aeronautical Technology Directorate has engaged in.

1 The EcoDemonstrator Program 2018 updates
JAXA flight tested the technology on ecoDemonstrator Program 2018, the mechanism to detect clear air turbulences. In January Press Conference this year, the former JAXA President announced the program. In the flight tests conducted in Seattle, Washington, JAXA's flight safety system, a Doppler LIDAR in particular was onboard a Boeing freighter. JAXA developed the system as part of its SafeAvio R&D project. Almost 40 technologies including this were tested for eight weeks and came to an end on April 30 as scheduled. JAXA could successfully obtain the test data. Following the data evaluations by Boeing, JAXA proceeds with data analysis. Verification of the system feasibility and application ensues. Technical issues will be identified in order to overcome. JAXA with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (M ELCO), the system manufacturer, is working hard to develop the system into a practical application.

2 Advanced Fan Jet Research (aFJR) Project Results
The second is the completion of aFJR, Advanced Fan Jet Research, initiated in January 2015. This project aimed at research, development and testing of energy efficient, light fans and turbines for the next generation aviation engines. All through the project period which ended with Japanese fiscal 2017 on March 31, JAXA and the manufacturer co-developed the technology to realize the goal. For instance, a technology was developed that hollows fan blades made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, resulting in weight loss. JAXA hopes the aFJR technology will be used in the engines that Japanese companies develop. The aFJR test data is valuable in developing airplanes as well as their engines.

This month, JAXA is presenting the project results with its partners. More information will be available one confirmed.

New Executive Personnel of Vice Presidents

Following the last press conference when I featured Hitoshi Kuninaka, one of four new JAXA Vice Presidents, this month I will introduce two new Vice Presidents: Hisashi Sano, Director General of Aeronautical Technology Directorate and Masato Nakamura, Director General of General Affairs Department, Evaluation and Audit Department, Public Affairs Department, International Relations and Research Department and New Enterprise Promotion Department. I will have them introduce themselves later.