JAXA President Monthly Press Conference June 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 June 7 (Fri), 2019
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Akiko Suzuki, Director, Public Affairs Department

Participation in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

I participated in the 6th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 13 (Mon) to May 17 (Fri). The platform is a biennial international conference held by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and participated by government's disaster risk reduction-related officials of various countries across the world and the UN disaster risk reduction-related organizations.
The following five members including myself took the platform to conduct a panel discussion named "Risk-informed Public and Private Investment," one of the high-level sessions: minister in charge of disaster reduction from Zambia, minister in charge of economic planning and development from Dominican Republic, the founder of the SM Mall of Asia, the largest mall in the Philippines, and a member of the UN Global Compact, the initiative proposed 20 years ago by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which defines environmental principles for businesses. Private corporations that support the initiative participate in the Global Compact. One of the board members was a panelist.
In my keynote statement at the beginning, I discussed the connection between the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (established at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015) and space technology, the utilization and development of satellite images for disaster response in Japan and overseas, and activities and recent examples of Sentinel Asia, which JAXA takes the lead.
Sentinel Asia is an international cooperation project for mitigating damage of natural disaster by utilizing satellite data in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the panel discussion, I discussed, in response to the moderator's questions, the importance of cooperation with users who actually utilize satellite data for disaster risk reduction and introduced, as an example, a warning system for landslide disaster by using satellite data in the Philippines. At the end of session, I concluded by saying that we are using space technology not only for science but also for risk reduction and prevention of disaster and efforts to address climate change.
Through this opportunity to speak at a high-level meeting, I believe that I was able to have various government-level disaster reduction organizations recognize that satellite images are widely used in the field of disaster reduction, as well as to raise the JAXA's presence in the field.

Seeking a Joint Research and Development Partner for Examining the Feasibility of the Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) for Space

JAXA's Research and Development Directorate is currently seeking a Japanese company partner that can jointly develop with JAXA a high performance Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) for space, which is composed of multiple gyro sensors.
The gyro sensor is a sensor to measure satellite attitude in space, which is an important sensor that decides the feasibility of mission. For example, domestically-manufactured mechanical gyro sensors are currently used for the Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI-2." They are highly reliable and suitable for each satellite.
However, as our missions more and more require higher precision and agility in the near future including for example high-speed optical inter-orbit communications and observation with high-level immediate responsiveness, we think a new type of gyro sensor with fewer oscillation (free from internal disturbance)capable of detecting faster rotation angular velocity (rotation rate) will become necessary.
A domestically-made gyro sensor that can meet such future mission needs does not exist at present. In order to maintain the international competitiveness of domestic industry in the gyro sensor market, the development of a gyro sensor with new method is becoming an urgent task.
Taking advantage of a demonstration opportunity such as the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration program in the future, a satellite launch in the first demonstration program was implemented in January this year from the Epsilon Launch Vehicle. By using this future opportunity, we are examining a plan to provide an on-orbit demonstration of gyro sensor. In this fiscal year, we are planning to implement the front loading before starting to manufacture a demonstration model.
If a Japanese company can obtain a development technology of a new gyro sensor through the joint research partnership between JAXA and a Japanese company partner, it is expected that the new technology could be widely applied to many other industries in the future including mobile units such as vehicle, vessel and aircraft. Through this effort, JAXA would like to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of home industry and look forward to creating a new innovation.
With respect to this public solicitation of partner, we will issue the Request for Proposal until June 13 next week and accept proposals from interested companies until July 8. We highly encourage companies interested in the partnership to consider joining us. For details, please refer to the procurement information on JAXA's webpage.

Efforts to use Experiment Module "Kibo"

Concerning the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the International Space Station, we are promoting the use of "Kibo" for scientific research and trying to have the civilian sector use more. We are also promoting international cooperation with countries without launch technology by using "Kibo" for space development. One of such examples is "KiboCUBE" (offering the opportunity to deploy JEM small satellites). Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by the UN is another example. To achieve sustainable growth in the whole world, we believe it is essential to effectively advance the use of "Kibo" for space development as a tool for resolving social issues.
I will introduce two recent efforts to use "Kibo" for the SDGs. One is cooperation with Malaysia, and the other is cooperation with Rwanda through the University of Tokyo.
Based on the cooperation agreement with the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA), we took out a sample of the optical fiber developed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) from "Kibo" and attached it outside the module on May 30 by utilizing JAXA's Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) on the International Space Station. The sample will be exposed in space for about one year to conduct a demonstration experiment on optical fiber as radiation dosimeter for space. Through cooperation this time, we plan to build a continuous relationship with Malaysia further.
A Rwandan government organization developed RWASAT-1, the country's first satellite, jointly with the University of Tokyo to conduct an experiment on utilizing Store & Forward technology, which gathers sensor information on the ground, for practical use such as water resource management. RWASAT-1 was transferred from the University of Tokyo to the Rwandan government at the Transform Africa Summit 2019, the largest ICT meeting in Africa, held in Rwanda on May 16 this year. Now, as the first step of "the University of Tokyo and JAXA Partnership Agreement to Promote Kibo Use," we are planning to release RWASAT-1 from "Kibo." The 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) will be held in Yokohama in August. We hope to make a cooperation with Rwanda known to the public as JAXA's contribution in the field of space toward achieving objectives of the SDGs.

The Operation Status of "Hayabusa2" and the Future Plan

From May 28 to 30, we had "Hayabusa2" conduct the low descent observation operation. At 11:18 (onboard Japanese time) on May 30, "Hayabusa2" separated the second target marker from a point at altitude of 9m from asteroid Ryugu. With images taken by the Optical Navigation Camera - Wide angle (ONC-W1), we confirmed that the target marker was successfully dropped in the area called C01, the targeted landing candidate site near the artificial crater.
We are carefully considering whether to implement a second touchdown. By having successfully dropped the target marker this time, we think we are preparing for a second touchdown by taking one step at a time.
And we are examining the next low descent observation operation by "Hayabusa2." We will probably be able to provide more information on this at the regular press briefing for "Hayabusa2" to be held on June 11 next week. We welcome your attendance at the scheduled press briefing.
Now, it is my pleasure to announce that "Hayabusa" and "Hayabusa2" missions were awarded "Cool Japan Award 2019." Vice President Kuninaka participated in the award ceremony on May 27. I understand that this award is organized by Cool Japan Association, a general incorporated association, and people from around the globe discover and certify what they agree as "Cool Japan." We highly appreciate your continued understanding and support. Thank you.

Holding "JAXA Symposium"

We hold a JAXA Symposium every year. We are planning to hold this year's symposium from 18:00 to 20:30 on July 16 (Tue) at Yurakucho Asahi Hall with two sessions.
In the first session, we will report on the results achieved in the first fiscal year of JAXA's fourth mid- to long-term plan that started last fiscal year, as well as future prospects. In addition, we will report as hot topics on the current status of "Hayabusa2," the development status of the H3 Launch Vehicle, and the moon and planetary exploration plan in the future. In the second session, we will conduct a panel discussion with the theme "Space Development and Subculture."
Upon deciding details of the symposium, we are planning to announce them on the JAXA's homepage.