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Topics 2003

December 2003

Dec. 9, 2003 Updated
JAXA gave up injecting Mars Orbiter “Nozomi” into orbit of Mars

Despite trying hard to restore the malfunctioned part of Nozomi, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of JAXA found that communications with Nozomi were still not restored as of 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 (Japan Standard Time.) It is very unfortunate for JAXA to announce that we have decided to give up its injection into the orbit of Mars. We would like to deeply apologize for this failure, and will continue to do our best to investigate the cause.

JAXA gave up injecting Mars Orbiter “Nozomi” into orbit of Mars

December 9, 2003 Updated
H-IIA F6 Accident Investigation

JAXA failed to launch H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 6 (H-IIA F6) on November 29 after one of the two solid rocket boosters (SRB-As) failed to detach. The rocket was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center. Our accident investigation team led by President Yamanouchi is investigating the cause of the failure.

November 2003

November 29, 2003 Updated
Launch Result of IGS #2/H-IIA F6

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No 6 (H-IIA F6) with the information gathering satellite #2 (IGS) onboard from the Tanegashima Space Center at 13:33 on November 29, 2003 (Japan Standard Time). However, the vehicle failed to jettison one of its two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB-As). H-IIA F6 was consequently destroyed by a destruction command from the ground at 13:43:53 as the vehicle did not gain enough height and speed due to the failure.

JAXA has established an accident investigation team led by President Yamanouchi and is investigating the cause of the accident. We would like to deeply apologize for this failure.

November 28, 2003 Updated
Astronaut Wakata talks about the resumption of the Space Shuttle program

Astronaut Koichi Wakata held a press conference at JAXAi (Tokyo) on Nov. 27. He is currently in Japan to confirm the procedure of an extravehicular activity as part of a training program. At the conference, he talked about the actual experience of the extravehicular activity and explained the detailed process of repair and verification work if the shuttle’s surface insulation tiles suffer damage. Astronaut Wakata will support Astronaut Souichi Noguchi, who is scheduled to be onboard the next space shuttle mission (STS-114), as a leader of the extravehicular activity.

November 26, 2003 Updated
Fifth Space Class held in Ehime Prefecture cosponsored by Nankai Broadcasting Co.

A Space Class that enabled boys and girls to communicate with the International Space Station (ISS) directly was held in the evening of Nov. 25 in the city of Matsuyama. Although the class started fairly late, at 10:30 p.m., about 200 children enthusiastically and tirelessly talked to American and Russian astronauts who are stationed on the ISS, and listened to Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide who played a guiding role. JAXA continues to actively seek public opinions for the use of the ISS and its Japanese Module, Kibo, and offers supports for these ideas.

November 25, 2003 Updated
JAXA demonstrates the benefits of its technology

JAXA participated in the International New Technology Fair 2003 (Nov. 19 to 21) at Tokyo Big Sight. Our participation in this exchange of technological information was led by our Industrial Collaboration Department. JAXA is also taking part in the Microwave Exhibition 2003 between Nov. 26 and 28 at Pacifico Yokohama, which is led by our Office of Space Applications to demonstrate the benefits of our satellite communications and new technologies. JAXA actively participates in such events to promote people's understanding of the usage and development of space.

November 12, 2003 Updated
Cosmic College to be held in Koriyama and Niihama

Cosmic College, which is for children as well as teachers who want to learn more about space, is scheduled to be held in the city of Koriyama (in Fukushima Prefecture) in December and the city of Niihama (in Ehime Pref.) in January. Please check the application process and join us.

October 2003

October 31, 2003 Updated
Earth Observation Operations of Midori-II (Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II, ADEOS-II)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been investigating the possibility of recovering the observations of Midori-II after an anomaly was detected in the satellite on October 25. JAXA has been continually trying to restore its functions. However, as a result of our analysis and our inability to re-establish any communications with the satellite, JAXA announced today that the possibility of restoring the operations of Midori-II is extremely slim.

JAXA will continue to do its utmost to send commands and investigate the condition of the satellite to clarify the cause of the anomaly and to prevent a recurrence of the problem for future satellite programs.

JAXA would like to express our sincere apologies to all Japanese citizens, parties concerned, and Midori-II users.

October 30, 2003 Updated
Trace of water found on asteroid Vesta!

An international research group led by Dr. Sunao Hasegawa of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of JAXA found a mineral that included water (a trace of water) on Vesta, the only known asteroid whose surface shows a geological similarity to that of terrestrial planets (through its core and mantle). The existence of a mineral on the asteroid had been thought to be impossible. This extraordinary finding is a major step forward to clarify the origin and life of the solar system.

October 27, 2003 Updated
Second flight test carried out on RVT-9

The second vertical liftoff and landing test for the fully reusable test vehicle "RVT-9" was carried out at the Noshiro Test Center (in Akita Prefecture).
The RVT-9 flew for about 17 seconds and landed at the planned landing spot after staying still in the air at an altitude of about 30 meters.

October 25, 2003 Updated
RVT-9 flight test is under way.

The first vertical liftoff and landing test for the fully reusable test vehicle "RVT-9" was carried out at the Noshiro Test Center (in Akita Prefecture). The RVT-9 flew for about 17 seconds today. Two more flight tests are scheduled after carefully monitoring weather conditions.

October 23, 2003 Updated
Workshop held to apply commercial products to space use.

“The 16th Microelectronics Workshop” is being held between Oct. 22 and 24 at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center. During the workshop, engineers from various areas will discuss how to utilize commercial devices and parts for spacecraft and satellites, as they are less expensive than specially manufactured space parts. The workshop is part of activities to make the general public feel more attached to space.

October 21, 2003 Updated
IN SPACE 2003? will be held to make space related experiments and On Oct. 22 (Wed.),

“In SPACE 2003” or the international symposium for space use will be held at the TEPIA hall in Tokyo. Specialists and space technology users will exchange opinions on how to encourage more people to be interested in space and to use space experiments that still seems to be closed to outsiders.

October 20, 2003 Updated
JAXA helps children participate in the Planetary Congres

On Nov. 16, a "JAXA Event" was held for elementary, middle, and high school students at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (in Tokyo) where the Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Exploration is currently being held. Four astronauts, Japan's Mr. Souichi Noguchi, and three others from the US, Canada, and Switzerland, acted as guides to carry out a non-gravity falling experiment and a launch test of a small rocket made of a plastic case for camera films. Actual experiment images from Space Shuttles were also shown. Children in Osaka also participated in the experiments and the question and answer session through a TV conference system. The children had a great time and got to live out their dreams and solve their curiosity toward space.

October 10, 2003 Updated
The Planetary Congress started on the 13th.

The 18th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers is being held between Oct. 13th and 17th at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation as a main venue and across Japan with almost 70 astronauts and cosmonauts participating. You can enjoy many events at the congress sites. Open discussion sessions are being broadcasted live on the Internet.

October 8, 2003 Updated
JAXA inauguration ceremony held in Tokyo

On Oct. 7, an inauguration ceremony for JAXA was held at Keidanren Hall (in a Federation of Economic Organizations' building in Tokyo) for over 500 guests. Following an address by President Shuichiro Yamanouchi on behalf of JAXA, congratulatory messages from domestic and overseas guests were presented. Mr. Yasunori Matogawa, an Associate Executive Director of the JAXA Public Affairs Office, then explained the outline of JAXA activities. The party after the ceremony was filled with enthusiasm toward the newly born agency, and we once again expressed our fresh determination to match the high expectations of all concerned. We would like to express our appreciation to all participants and for the heartfelt congratulatory addresses.

October 1, 2003 Updated
A new era for Japan's skies and space has started.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born on Oct. 1. Taking over the operations of three former organizations, JAXA will fly higher and further. Please look forward to JAXA's bright future and our various activities.