JAXA President Monthly Press Conference July 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 July 12 (Fri), 2019
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Akiko Suzuki, Director, Public Affairs Department

Progress in Cooperation with Europe

I made a business trip to Europe from June 13 to 18.
In response to an invitation from Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner of the European Space Agency (ESA), I first delivered a lecture on space cooperation between JAXA and ESA to representatives of 22 ESA member countries on June 14. I understand that ESA plans to hold a ministerial meeting in November this year to decide space programs for the next several years. In order to ensure support for project cooperation between Japan and Europe, I believe that through the lecture I was able to make an impression on strong cooperation between Japan and Europe to the ESA member countries. In addition, taking advantage of the opportunity, I signed a cooperation agreement with ESA on X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), which is currently under development and aimed at launching in FY2021 and will contribute to X-ray astronomy.
On June 17 and 18, I participated in the International Paris Air Show. I took the speakers' platform for a space exploration roundtable held by Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France and a space agencies' session held by the U.S. commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing and shared our intention with each space agency to continue space development in cooperation with other countries. Taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Paris Air Show, I signed an Implementing Arrangement with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission currently under consideration by JAXA.
On June 26 after I came back to Japan, in the presence of Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masahiko Shibayama and Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal of France, I signed an Implementing Arrangement on cooperation in the MMX mission and analysis of Hayabusa2-returned samples with CNES.
With respect to the Implementing Arrangements with DLR and CNES, on the occasion of the visit later by Mr. Emanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, to Japan, the exchange ceremony of the signed two Implementing Arrangements took place at the Prime Minister's Office in the presence of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Emmanuel Macron.
Cooperative relations with Europe started with information exchange based on notes exchanged, which was concluded with ESA's predecessor. I deeply appreciate the weight of history of cooperation accumulated over 40 years and renew my determination to further deepen the relationship between Japan and Europe.

International Sales of High-Precision Gas Sensor (Twin-QCM Sensor)

As we just issued a press release a little while ago, I will report on the high-precision gas sensor (Twin-QCM Sensor) that JAXA and Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co., Ltd. (NDK) have jointly developed.
Spacecraft such as satellite and rocket emit gases while flying in outer space from plastics and adhesives used for their airframe. The gases are called outgases. When outgases attach to the surfaces of sensors and telephoto lenses equipped in spacecraft and cause contamination, it could deteriorate the optical performance and image quality. In order to prevent contamination, we select appropriate materials that will emit less outgases or take a measure to actively release gases before launch in a vacuum chamber with high heat (which is so called baking). In this case, it is essential to accurately measure the amount of outgasses emitted from materials during the baking.
Compared with existing sensors overseas, this Twin-QCM Sensor performs superior precision measurement with its stable temperature compensation. As the sensor controls the temperature by using cooling water and peltier device, it can control a wide range of temperatures from -80 degree to 125 degree in Celsius. Furthermore, as the sensor makes it possible to simplify devices, it is expected to be used for many purposes.
Currently, JAXA is using the sensor to measure outgases emitted from materials used for X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), which JAXA is jointly developing with NASA aiming to elucidate the origin of a cluster of galaxies and black holes. I have heard that among space agencies besides JAXA, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France has also decided to adopt the sensor. In addition, NDK, our joint development partner, sells its products both in and outside Japan. I understand that the company aims to widely create markets not only for the space industry but also for the adhesive industry.
From now on, JAXA will make efforts to advance measurement technology. We will use the sensor to measure outgases emitted not only from materials but also from actual spacecraft including satellite so that we can optimize measures to curb satellite contamination.

Social Implementation of Research Results

JAXA continues its research and development with a view to an exit of application-oriented approach through collaboration with companies, aiming to apply our research results to social infrastructure. I will introduce two such examples.
First, I will introduce a research result of Safety Technology for Aviation and Disaster-Relief Program (STAR) aimed at realizing safe and secure society, which has borne fruit.
JAXA developed the Sodar-based Low-level Wind Information (SOLWIN) jointly with Sonic Corporation and has conducted trial operations of the system. SOLWIN is a system for providing information on wind direction and wind velocity over the runway immediately before takeoff and landing to pilots and flight operation officials. There have been similar systems but SOLWIN in particular can provide real-time information on vertical wind profiles that significantly affect airplanes when taking off and landing, which is the first of its kind in the world.
In order to evaluate the usefulness of SOLWIN, we have continued trial operation of the system at Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport (Tottori Airport) since August last year. As a result, more than 90% of all pilots highly evaluated SOLWIN and desired to continue using the system. Consequently, Tottori prefecture has decided to use SOLWIN at Tottori Airport from August 1st, 2019. By operating SOLWIN, we are looking forward to making air service operations safer and secure at Tottori Airport.
Another example on which we also issued a press release a while ago is Automated Nationwide Application of Timeseries InSar (ANATIS). ANATIS, an infrastructure displacement monitoring tool based on satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, was developed under the Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) led by the Cabinet Office. ANATIS, a civil infrastructure displacement monitoring tool, can not only monitor the surface of long river embankments in particular and wide areas including huge seaports and airports but also can monitor them at millimeter level on a regular basis by using satellite data from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2).
The usefulness of ANATIS has been demonstrated at regional civil infrastructures including Maruyama River (Hyogo Prefecture), Onahama Port (Fukushima Prefecture) and Kansai International Airport, etc. ANATIS has recently been registered with New Technology Information System (NETIS) operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to promote the use of new technology for public works projects. This opened a way to apply ANATIS to social implementation as a useful tool for public works projects. The use of ANTIS is expected to realize the improvement of the preventive maintenance level of Japan's deteriorating infrastructure at low costs.
From now on, JAXA, as I introduced the two examples, will continue social implementation through the application of research results and satellite data.

The Current Status of "Hayabusa2" and Future Plan

JAXA performed a series of operations for the second touchdown of Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" from July 9 to July 11. "Hayabusa2" started descending while keeping the target marker, which was dropped in the area called C01-Cb, in the center of the field view. It was confirmed at 10:51 (JST) that the spacecraft successfully touched down on asteroid Ryugu on July 11.
I think that the success was achieved by bringing together capabilities of the project team, which decided to implement a second touchdown as a result of sufficient examination and preparation for performing operations for a second touchdown.
From now on, "Hayabusa2" will continue observation in the vicinity of asteroid Ryugu and start return journey to Earth within the year. Asteroid Ryugu's samples will be successfully retrieved at the end of next year. That will confirm that the asteroid's subsurface materials were collected for the first time in the world and other samples were also collected from multiple areas as intended, which I hope will lead to a significant scientific achievement.

The Current Status of Launching "Konotori8"

H-II Transfer Vehicle "Konotori8" that delivers supplies to the International Space Station is scheduled to be launched this fiscal year and the preparation for the launch is smoothly underway.
"Konotori8" delivers supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) including batteries for the ISS power source indispensable to the ISS operation, perishable foods and various experiment devices. The transfer vehicle will also load Sony Optical Link for International Space Station (SOLISS), an experiment device to demonstrate optical communication technology. SOLISS was developed jointly by Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., Sony Corporation and JAXA by using JAXA's framework called the Space Exploration Innovation Hub. The transfer vehicle will also load Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-L), a large-size incubator device – only one in the world – that makes possible a long term habitation of mice in a gravitational environment simulating the Moon and Mars. In this way, technology demonstration for space exploration is scheduled to be conducted. We also plan to load an ultra-small satellite onto the transfer vehicle, which is planned to be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo." This is expected to expand the utilization of Low Earth Orbit satellites.
With reliable operational results performed by the transfer vehicles from 1 to 7, "Konotori" has been internationally given high marks and greatly contributed to the ISS operation. In order to continuously gain trust from the international community in the field of supply, we are committed to thoroughly and steadily preparing for the success of the "Konotori8" mission.
On July 19 (Fri) next week, we will finally unveil the main body of "Konotori8" to the media at the Tanegashima Space Center. As this will be the only opportunity for the media to be able to directly see the main body of "Konotori8," we will highly encourage your participation.