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Jun. 17, 2019 Updated
Agreement with European Space Agency (ESA) for cooperation on the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission: XRISM

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has agreed to cooperate with European Space Agency (ESA) on the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission: XRISM.
Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA and Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of ESA have signed the agreement in presence of ESA Council Delegates at the European Space Operation Center in Darmstadt, Germany on June 14, 2019.

The XRISM project, kicked off in 2018, is the seventh X-ray astronomy satellite program of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, JAXA. It aims at the early recovery of the prime science objective "to solve outstanding astrophysical questions with high resolution X-ray spectroscopy" of ASTRO-H whose operation was ceased in 2016.

Under the agreement, JAXA and ESA have agreed to apply the cooperation developed through ASTRO-H in XRISM. In addition to contributing to the development of one of XRISM's most important instruments, the Soft X-ray Spectrometer, ESA will also support European scientists for their participation in the XRISM project.

XRISM is currently under development and is scheduled to be launched in FY2021.

For more information on XRISM, visit: XRISM Web Site.

Apr. 23, 2019 Updated
CLASP2 Rocket Experiment Launched

The CLASP2 sounding rocket experiment launched on April 11, 2019 at 10:51 a.m. MDT (01:51 a.m. JST on April 12) from the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA. It reached 274 km at maximum altitude and observed the Sun for 6 minutes from above 160 km. After the observations, the instrument parachuted down to the White Sands Desert, and was carried back to the laboratory. All the data stored in the instrument were recovered successfully.

CLASP2 Sounding Rocket launch.

CLASP2 Sounding Rocket launch. (credit: US Army Photo, White Sands Missile Range)

Mar. 26, 2019 Updated
UNOOSA and JAXA open Fifth Round of KiboCUBE!

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is pleased to announce the opening of the fifth round of KiboCUBE.

KiboCUBE: Fifth Round
1) Application
Application Submission September 30, 2019
Eligibility Criteria Entities located in developing countries that are member states of the United Nations (please refer to the "Announcement of Opportunity" for further details.
Deployment Deployment expected by March 2021, subject to the ISS operational requirements and progress of the CubeSat development.
2) Selection
Selection and notification of applicants November 30, 2019
Maximum of two entities (1U CubeSat per entity) will be selected.

Please refer to the following website for further details regarding the applications for the KiboCUBE fifth round ("Announcement of Opportunity"). The application due date is September 30. We look forward to receiving many applicants and contributing to the capacity building of your country!

(Reference 1)
KiboCUBE programme is a collaboration programme between JAXA and UNOOSA to offer developing countries the opportunity to deploy small satellites from the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the International Space Station (ISS).

(Reference 2) Results of past selection
A team from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) was granted for the 1st round of KiboCUBE, and the satellite was deployed from Kibo in May, 2018.
A team from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (Guatemala) was granted for the second round of KiboCUBE. A team from Mauritius Research Council (Mauritius) and a team from Surya University (Indonesia) were granted for the third round of KiboCUBE. JAXA and OOSA are currently under selection of the fourth round of KiboCUBE.

Successful deployment of 1KUNS-PF (Kenyan Satellite, selected as first round of KiboCUBE) from Kibo in May, 2018

Mar. 1, 2019 Updated
New Dataset Release: GCOM-C/SGLI

JAXA GCOM-C (Global Change Observation Mission - Climate "SHIKISAI") satellite was launched on Dec. 23rd, 2017 to conduct long-term and continuous global observations in order to elucidate the global warming mechanisms related to fluctuations in radiation budget and/or carbon cycles etc.

The onboard sensor SGLI (Second Generation Global Imager) can observe 19 bands of radiations from near-ultraviolet to thermal infrared region (380 nm-12 µm), which yield various physical properties related to cloud, water, snow, ice, aerosol, sea, land, vegetation, biomass, chlorophyll a, and photosynthesis. The spatial resolution and swath of SGLI are 250m and greater than 1,000 km respectively and the whole globe can be scanned approximately in every two days.

SGLI can observe 15 Essential Climate Variables (ECV) such as cloud, aerosols, vegetation, etc. and its data are expected to contribute to improve the projection accuracy of climate change and also to predict fishing grounds, yellow sands, red tides, etc.

The released products can be downloaded via JAXA G-Portal ( https://gportal.jaxa.jp/ )

Contact Point: JAXA G-portal help desk:mailaddress

1. Events after the launch

The data was released as scheduled according to the following operations.
December 23, 2017Launch of GCOM-C (SHIKISAI)
January 1, 2018 Obtained First Light images
March 28, 2018 Started initial calibration and validation operations
December14, 2018Completed initial calibration and validation operations

2. The overview of Initial calibration and validation operations

To detect tiny climate change signals, higher accuracy products are needed. JAXA performed calibration with GCOM-C function using solar light, internal lamps, black body, lunar light and others, and compared (calibration and validation) GCOM-C observation value with ground observation data acquired in cooperation with ground observation networks (Skynet, AERONET and AsiaFlux) and collaborating research institutes (universities, Meteorological Research Institute, JAMSTEC and NOAA). As a result of the calibration, JAXA confirmed that the accuracy of 29 types of products covering land, atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere is attained to start data utilization.

3. GCOM-C/SGCLI Standard Products


Further information for the definition of the product and sample data is available at;

1) Chlorophyll-a Concentration


Global chlorophyll-a concentration (average of October 2018)

2) Aerosols


Polarization radiance at 867nm (average from August 11 to 20, 2018)

3) Global vegetation index (NDVI)

The image is a map of global normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from SGLI observation data acquired during January 1st to 9th 2018. NDVI becomes high at active vegetation with high density, indicating the spatial distribution of vegetation on the global scale.


Feb. 25, 2019 Updated
[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Image from just after touchdown

From February 20 to 22, we conducted the touchdown operation (TD1-L8E1) of Hayabusa2 on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Figure 1 shows an image taken with the Optical Navigation Camera – Wide angle (ONC-W1) during the spacecraft ascent after touchdown.

Figure 1 was captured roughly 1 minute after touchdown at an estimated altitude of about 25m (error is a few meter). The color of the region beneath the spacecraft’s shadow differs from the surroundings and has been discolored by the touchdown. At the moment, the reason for the discoloration is unknown but it may be due to the grit that was blown upwards by the spacecraft thrusters or bullet (projectile).

Figure 1: Image captured near the touchdown site immediately after touchdown. The photograph was taken with the Optical Navigation Camera – Wide angle (ONC-W1) on February 22, 2019 at an onboard time of around 07:30 JST.
(Image credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.)

[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Image from just after touchdown

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