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Topics 2020

November 2020

Nov. 13, 2020 Updated
Mr. Ishida won the 2020 GEO Individual Excellence Award

JAXA is proud to announce that Mr. Chu Ishida, Senior Expert at Satellite Applications and Operation Center (SAOC), Space Technology Directory I, won the 2020 GEO Individual Excellence Awards. This award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional personal commitment to the mission of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and whose work has had a tangible impact to improve our planet through Earth observations.

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Nov. 12, 2020 Updated
DLR and JAXA Sign the Implementing Arrangement (IA) to collaborate on DESTINY⁺ mission (DESTINY⁺: Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology for INterplanetary voYage with Phaethon fLyby and dUst Science)

On November 11, 2020, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have agreed to cooperate in the development of DESTINY⁺. Dr. Hitoshi Kuninaka, Vice President of JAXA and Dr. Walther Pelzer, Executive Board Members of DLR signed the Implementing Arrangement (IA) stating the cooperation.

Combining science and engineering, DESTINY⁺ aims to realize; high speed flyby tracking imaging of the Geminids meteor shower parent body Phaethon, clarifying the facts of meteor shower parent body which is the origin of the dusts and the nature of dusts that are considered to be key sources of organic compounds to Earth by in-situ analyses of interplanetary and interstellar dusts, and demonstrating the technologies of small deep space explorer using Epsilon size rocket and ion engine.

The IA stipulates that DLR will provide one of the main scientific instruments DDA (DESTINY⁺ Dust Analyzer), and JAXA will have the DDA onboard the explorer and flyby the asteroid Phaethon.

October 2020

Oct. 19, 2020 Updated
JAXA and ASI Sign Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC)

Dr. YAMAKAWA Hiroshi, President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mr. Giorgio Saccoccia, President of Italian Space Agency (ASI), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on October 16, 2020. This MOC succeeds to the spirit of cooperation framework between the two agencies commenced in 2010 and is intended to accelerate further collaboration. The signing ceremony was organized online between Tokyo and Rome.

On the basis of this MOC, JAXA and ASI continue collaborative activities in areas such as (1) Space science and exploration, (2) Earth observation and related applications, (3) Space transportation, (4) ISS and related utilization.

July 2020

Jul. 10, 2020 Updated
JAXA and ASA Sign Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC)

Dr. YAMAKAWA Hiroshi, President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Dr. Megan Clark, Head of Australian Space Agency (ASA), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on July 7, 2020. The Australian Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Mr. Richard Court and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Australia, His Excellency Mr. TAKAHASHI Reiichiro were in attendance. The signing ceremony was organized online between Tokyo and Canberra. The conclusion of the MOC between JAXA and ASA was welcomed by the Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia during the Summit Meeting held on July 9, 2020.

Based on this MOC, JAXA and ASA will consider cooperation in areas such as (1) space applications, (2) space technologies, (3) space environment utilization, (4) space science and space exploration and (5) space education and outreach.

Through further cooperation in the space field between Japan and Australia, JAXA and ASA, as significant partners, will contribute to invigorating space-related activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

May 2020

May 22, 2020 Updated
[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Messages from our members overseas

When the start of the second ion engine operation on May 12 was announced to Hayabusa2 project members overseas, they showered the local team with messages! As the current situation with the novel coronavirus is creating difficult times worldwide, we would like to share these encouraging replies that uplifted the team here in Japan.


[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Messages from our members overseas

May 21, 2020 Updated
Successful Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI9" aboard H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 9

At exactly 31 minutes and 00 seconds past 2 o’clock on the morning of May 21, 2020, the H-II Transfer Vehicle known as "KOUNOTORI9" (HTV9), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), was launched aboard H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 9 (H-IIB F9) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

H-IIB Vehicle light up in blue before its launch

H-IIB Vehicle light up in blue before its launch ©JAXA

Messages of THANKS and HOPE on the Movable Launcher

Messages of "THANKS" and "HOPE" on the Movable Launcher ©JAXA

We express our sincere appreciation for all the frontline workers fighting coronavirus (COVID-19), the people in the Tanegashima Island, and all of you supporting for this launch.

March 2020

Mar. 9, 2020 Updated
Global Extreme Heavy Rainfall and Drought detected by GSMaP ∼ "JAXA Climate Rainfall Watch" website is now available∼

JAXA has been addressing global precipitation-related issues under the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission by utilizing the 3D precipitation product "Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)" onboard GPM core observatory and multi-satellite precipitation product "Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP)".
We are pleased to inform that the new website called "JAXA Climate Rainfall Watch" is now available, which provides information about extreme heavy rainfall and drought over the world (Fig. 1). You can easily monitor global extreme weather and climate by displaying accumulated rainfall in some temporal scale (daily, pentad, weekly, 10-days and monthly), indices related to extreme heavy rainfall (percentiles*) and drought (SPI**). A specified date after April 2000 can be selected.

Fig.1 Graphical User Interface of the "JAXA Climate Rainfall Watch" website
(Monthly precipitation in February 2020)

February 2020

Feb. 18, 2020 Updated
Massive bushfires in Australia seen from Space

Australia has naturally faced many droughts and bushfires, but conditions have been unusually severe this time. Sometime around September 2019, the bushfires continuously occurred around the state of New South Wales in southeast Australia. The fires had been spreading on a larger scale, and a number of massive fires had merged into a "Mega Fire" that was out of control. The fires are unlikely to end entirely even at the end of January 2020.

Figure 1 (left) Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in Australia calculated by GSMaP precipitation amount in a month (December 2019), (right)SPI calculated by GSMaP precipitation amount in three months (October-December 2019) in a same way. The relations between SPI value, the range of drought and frequency of phenomenon were classified by WMO (2012). In case SPI value becomes "-1.5 to -1.99", it indicates the situation of "Severe dryness" which happens "once in 20 years". In case SPI value becomes less than -2.0, it corresponds "Extreme dryness" which happens "once in 50 years". These condition shows the possibility of severe drought occurrence which leads to a big social impact.

Updates 2020

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