JAXA President Monthly Press Conference February 2019

JAXA President Monthly Press Conference

Speech Abstracts by Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA
Date and time: From 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. on February 8 (Fri), 2019
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Akiko Suzuki, Director, Public Affairs Department

TMSAP Deployment of RAPIS-1 aboard the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-1

Following the January 18 launch, the Rapid Innovative Payload Demonstration Satellite 1 (RAPIS-1) completed its critical phase and has entered the initial operation phase.
I would like to report on the deployment experiment conducted yesterday of the satellite's lightweight solar array paddle, (TMSAP: Thin Membrane Solar Array Paddle) JAXA's demonstration theme aboard RAPIS-1.
As satellite functions increase, say, all-electric satellites need light weight, huge power solar arrays that produce enough energy. In order to respond to this, for about a decade, JAXA has worked on building a triple-junction thin-film solar cell array sheet weighing a third of the conventional counterpart and a 150 watt per kilogram outage TMSAP, in terms of output mass ratio. To reduce the weight, all parts of the solar cell array sheet, the frame panels, the TMSAP's deployment hinges and release devise were newly developed. Tests of extending five panels were conducted on orbit with the deployment devise onboard the RAPIS-1. The testing will demonstrate deployment and subsequent power generation of the solar paddles.
Yesterday, the TMSAP deployment motion was commanded. The state of the deployment monitor switch and the images captured by the Camera for Deployment Monitor No. 2 (CMRD2) show that the TMSAP were deployed, producing the electricity as expected.
JAXA will continue monitoring The TMSAP power outage until the completion of the mission.

TMSAP aboard RAPIS-1 were deployed successfully.

Hayabusa2 Touchdown Operation on Ryugu

Hayabusa2 is currently conducting observations in the vicinity of asteroid Ryugu. This week, we announced the planned touchdown on the surface of Ryugu, at around 8 am, in Japan Time, Friday, February 22. What will be done at this touchdown operation will be descending the Hayabusa2 spacecraft on the target markers dropped earlier and collecting the surface material of Ryugu.
The touchdown operation demands highly accurate and precise spacecraft guidance, as the touchdown is targeted at a spot about 6 meters wide. For the past three months, Hayabusa2 project team has devoted itself to the success of the touchdown operation – building a very accurate asteroid model, tuning the spacecraft for autonomous control, devising landing attitudes and other endeavors, all for an acutely navigated landing. The science team including the universities have tried their best, created the topography around the touchdown spot down to 10 centimeters. The engineering team thoroughly has sought for the extremely sensitive spacecraft navigation, by the meters. Every day they have repeatedly trained for the navigation and acquired the necessary skills. Collected wisdom of the two teams will only equip us for this very challenging task. Communications with the Hayabusa2 spacecraft are done through the Usuda ground station and other stations of foreign space agencies. During this month, the asteroid Ryugu is passing its aphelion, the most distant point from the Sun. This give us the advantage. Being so far away from the Sun, the spacecraft will not be exposed to the intense solar heat. In this period, if it is within an hour or so, low altitude operation is permissible.
On February 20, the second monthly press briefing is to be held for the Hayabusa2 mission. On 22, the day of the touchdown, we will set up a media center at the JAXA Sagamihara Campus. Your attendance is cordially welcome. For one hour before and after the planned touchdown time, internet coverage will be provided with professional commentary. JAXA could hardly be more prepared for the operation. I am confident that our project team has what it takes to make this operation a success.

IBUKI-2 (GOSAT-2) Transition to Routine Operations Phase

IBUKI-2 was co-developed by three organizations – Japanese Ministry of Environment, National Institute of Environmental Studies, Japan and JAXA and launched on October 29, 2018. On the following day, IBUKI-2 completed its critical operation phase and moved on to the initial function validation phase during which the two onboard instruments were evaluated, the Thermal and Near Infrared Sensor for Carbon Observation-Fourier Transform Spectrometer 2 (TANSO-FTS-2) and Thermal and the Near Infrared Sensor for Carbon Observation - Cloud and Aerosol Imager-2. (TANSO-CAI-2) Since the end of last year, the first light image and the first observation were returned, and we have issued press release to report on those. TANSO-FTS-2 has Intelligent Pointing system, which detects clouds in its sight and monitors cloudless areas. TANSO-CAI-2 increases the monitoring capabilities of clouds and aerosols. IBUKI-2 is equipped to monitor more precisely carbon dioxide and methane than does IBUKI, the predecessor satellite. Objects of IBUKI-2 monitoring include carbon monoxide, with the goal of identifying its absorption and emission sources. This is expected to render emission estimates of greenhouse gases from human activities. All these IBUKI-2 capabilities – its high accuracy measuring of carbon dioxide and methane, and adding carbon monoxide monitoring – were evaluated and confirmed during the initial function validation period.
JAXA carefully examined the functions of the satellite and its science instruments performed through this phase and learned that the level of functions was more than satisfactory. Additionally, the operations of the satellite's ground system, the operational plans and the system of the project team are sound. The facts have prompted us to have the IBUKI-2 satellite enter its routine operations phase. The timeline that JAXA targets to accomplish now is, in six months, having available for the public the spectral TANSO-FT-2 data and radiance data monitored by the TANSO-CAI-2. The TANSO-FT-2 data is what we call level one product, as it serves as raw data to provide estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane. To that end, initial data verification and calibration is underway. JAXA also wishes to strengthen the collaboration with the co-developers of the satellite, Japanese Ministry of Environment, National Institute of Environmental Studies, to facilitate the process of data provision.

JAXA-ToMMo Kibo Use Agreement in Health of Aging Society

JAXA and Tohoku University Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (ToMMo) made a basic agreement to cooperate to make aging society healthier. A JAXA-ToMMo joint press briefing is held shortly at 2:15 pm today, as was informed earlier at this press conference. The briefing following this conference will connect the JAXA Tokyo Office and the Tohoku University via video conference system, so I would be pleased if you could stay on.
Founded to establish an advanced medical system to foster the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, ToMMo will develop a biobank that combines medical and genome information while rebuilding the community medical system and supporting health and welfare in the Tohoku area. The process involves follow-up study on the health of the disaster victims and taking their samples. They also aim to grow those who practice medicine for the future and to create next generation medical system. ToMMo has accumulated three-generation cohort biological samples and their health data of some 150,000 individuals, which is some of the biggest in scale of the country. Performing a cross-section at intervals through time, ToMMo's biobank is designed to elucidate how genetics and lifestyle choices interact with illnesses and has thus far earned a remarkable success.

Details are to be given shortly at the following briefing. I believe that innovations will result from JAXA's cooperation with ToMMo, the organization that aids the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and improves well-being of the country.

Symposium KIBO Utilization –Expanding the Future of KIBO Use–

On February 12 and 13 at Nihonbashi, Tokyo, JAXA holds a symposium to promote and publicize the use and accomplishments of KIBO, the Japanese experiment module of the International Space Station. (ISS) The symposium is named KIBO Utilization – Expanding the Future of KIBO Use–.
The symposium serves as a platform where cooperate and academic KIBO users announce their projects, results and plans for the future and also to network with the audience. Featuring panel discussions on three topics, Day 1 addresses JAXA's initiative to expand commercial KIBO use and to contribute to Japanese science and technological innovation. The topics are: 1 Use of space to realize healthier society, 2 Application of space technologies in pharmaceutical and 3 Human activities expand in space. On Day 2, there will be JAXA-NASA joint workshop, dialogue by JAXA Vice President Wakata and Program Director of the ISS, NASA, keynote address, and several panel discussions with Japanese and international companies. JAXA expects a large turnout as many corporate representatives will attend who are interested in developing their businesses through KIBO use.