JAXA President Monthly Press Conference March 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 March 8 (Fri), 2019
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Akiko Suzuki, Director, Public Affairs Department


SpaceX successfully launched its first Crew Dragon capsule aboard Demo-1, an uncrewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2, 2019. On the following day Demo-1 got to the ISS. I heard that the final checkout for mission is underway, ready to undock the ISS around 4 pm in Japan time today. The mission will end sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to carry astronauts to and from the space station in the wake of the space shuttle's retirement in 2011. I see the mission usher in a new era. Yet more American private businesses will launch human spacecraft from the country again. JAXA will continue collecting intelligence and safety evaluation to be ready for the start of Crew Dragon operations possibly with Japanese astronaut aboard.

Hayabusa2 Schedule

On February 20, Hayabusa2 started the operation for the first touchdown on Ryugu, the target asteroid, which took place at 7:29:10 am, February 22. The spacecraft landed within the 3-meter radius target and shot the projectile as planned. We believe the operation collected a fair amount of the sample material. Many both from Japan and overseas have accessed the videos recorded around the time of the touchdown. CAM-H, a publicly funded small monitoring camera was used to capture the images, for which JAXA is grateful. Public donations brought to and shared with the world the images of the touchdown.
Currently Hayabusa2 is lowering the altitude to explore in detail possible second touchdown spot. A while ago I confirmed that the spacecraft reached 22 meters above the asteroid, the lowest altitude. Our Public Affairs Office will brief the exact time of that operation shortly. Ensuring are data collection for the next touchdown and pre-observations for the operation to generate an artificial crater. In the coming week starting April 1, Hayabusa2 will use an impactor called Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) to create a crater on Ryugu. Then no sooner than May, the second touchdown attempt is scheduled inside or around the artificial crater.

Crowdfunding Begins for Research and Development of Wireless Power Supply Technology

Currently, JAXA is accepting donations for multiple target businesses and will start crowdfunding for the first time the wireless power supply technology, the project the JAXA research and development department has taken up.
JAXA is researching to design and make future satellites wireless to improve reliability in the space environment. We will shortly have the personnel in charge explain the details of this research. Simply put, removing connectors and cables from the devices gives more latitude as to installment positions of the devices and reduces disconnection, loose contact defects and discharges. This, as a result, is expected to make the overall function of the spacecraft more reliable and to shorten the development period of a satellite. In This wireless technology can be used in the third Int-ball, a drone aboard Kibo to demonstrate the technology.
As shown in the handouts distributed to you moments ago, we have just started crowdfunding on our website. JAXA wants to deliver the technology demonstration soon. In addition, we intend to use the collected funds to design and manufacture coils for power transmission and reception, an essential aspect in establishing wireless power transmission technology. The crowdfunding which has just taken off is themed Space Development Is Close to You. It serves as publicity, including responding to encouraging email on our website and taking some donors on tours at our Research and Development with technical commentary given by JAXA personnel. We would appreciate your interest and look forward to your support.

The Second Recruitment of Commercial Kibo i-SEEP Use

At the December regular conference last year, I announced the request for proposal to private sector regarding Kibo use. Space BD was selected as service provider using IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform(i-SEEP) of Kibo.
We informed in May that at the first open recruitment, too, Space BD was selected as the service provider to deploy very small satellites. Since then, the company has received a few orders, and has been active in space business. Additionally, seeking to become a space trading company, Space BD is building a platform that handles all matters related to space. Their participation in J-SPARC, JAXA Space Innovation through PARtnership and Co-creation last November to create a space educational business showcases the enthusiasm the company shows.
The term for the second Kibo i-SEEP service is 6 years, until December 31, 2024. On March 11, JAXA is making a basic agreement with Space BD. Recently, I heard that Space BD and Satlantis, a Spanish space start-up had just concluded a fee-based agreement for i-SEEP on-orbit demonstration of binoculars to be installed on small satellites to commercialize the product. Space BD cultivated the foreign partner with whom to make an agreement rather soon, before the selection of the second Kibo i-SEEP recruitment. Space BD drew on its strength of responsiveness, one that a private business can afford. Our expectations are partnering with private sector will stimulate the demands of extravehicular ISS activities and expand the use of low Earth orbit including Kibo.

Space Exploration Symposium 2019

Last March the second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2) was held in Tokyo. ISEF is a meeting of government representatives and opinion exchange including ministerial class with the aim of promoting international cooperation in space exploration. At the ISEF-2, representatives of organizations from more than 40 countries agreed to strengthen international collaboration to promote sustainable space exploration. ISEF-2 also drove us home the importance of commercial participation and next-generation human resource development. Space exploration has been set as one the four fundamental principles in JAXA's fourth mid- and long-term plan of JAXA, ongoing since last April. To advance exploration, the International Space Exploration Center was established last July which consolidates all of JAXA's technology and wisdom. Japanese government and the International Space Exploration Center are leading participation in international space exploration.

On March 12, at Toranomon Hills, the International Space Exploration Center holds an International Space Exploration symposium 2019 with the cooperation of the Space Strategy Office of Japanese Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Latest initiatives in space exploration taken up in Japan and overseas will reported with the theme "for sustainable space exploration-science, industry and society, to the co-creation new era". Measures to be taken in the future and the prospects are also addressed. There will be multilateral discussions by panelists from industry, government, and academia. JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata and representatives of NASA and ESA will relate the exploratory undertaking on the moon and Mars, the immediate objectives targeted by the International Space Exploration. Two dialogue are scheduled for the afternoon. Hiroshi Matsumoto, RIKEN President and JAXA Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki are the speakers at the first, presenting space exploration in humankind's point of view. The second dialogue is by Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice President of Toyota and Koichi Wakata, on a joint project of space exploration and mobility. Two panel discussions will present the operational structure and problems to overcome for sustainable space development by the industries. The final panel discussion will bring out academic viewpoint regarding ways to stimulate the initiatives for space development in Japan. Interviews opportunities on the spot are available with Shigeki Terashi and Koichi Wakata. I would welcome your participation.

The JAXA Space Exploration Hub Center Co-Produces Results on Remote and Automatic Control to Build Lunar Base

At the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, a wide range of research is conducted to apply research results to space exploration in the future. Research fields and potential issues of innovative creation are identified with commercialization on Earth in mind. Life-changing technologies are being researched in cooperation with private companies, universities and research institutes that advance in activities of research, creation, building and living. By working together, we are seeking to acquire technologies necessary for future exploration of the moon and Mars as well as on Earth.
JAXA and Kajima Corporation, with Shibaura Institute of Technology, The University of Electro-Communications and Kyoto University have promoted research and development on the remote construction system by coordination of remote and automatic control. In the future, necessity would arise, say, to remotely construct a fuel plant on the moon. To do that, challenges must be overcome regarding communication delays and unusual construction environment. Efficient remote control would be crucial of multiple vehicles. On Earth, too, attempts are being made to automate construction that could compensate for the foreseeable decline in the workforce. These factors have been weighed in and initiated this joint research.
On Thursday, March 28, we will announce some of the research results of the remote and automatic control of manned lunar base construction. The demonstrations of the autonomously operated tractor and backhoe will be presented at Kajima Seisho Experiment Site, Odawara, Kanagawa. We would appreciate your participation.

Closing Remarks

I would like to introduce three awards that Hayabusa2 mission has received.
Hayabusa2 project team is awarded with two. One is by Aviation Week Network, the Technology & Innovation award of the Aviation Week Network's 62nd Annual Laureate Awards 2019 Winners. The ceremony is scheduled for March 14 in Washington, attended by Yuichi Tsuda, Project Manager and Satoru Nakazawa, Sub-Manager. The second is the technology award by the Japan Society for Astronautical and Space Sciences (JSASS). The ceremony is scheduled for April at the JSASS conference. The other prize is given to Hitoshi Kuninaka, The Director General, ISAS and JAXA Vice President. Kuninaka received the 59th Toray Science and Technology Prize. The award ceremony is on March 14 in Japan.