Press Release


Starting the Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region (STAR) Program

June 2, 2009 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is inviting members from six space agencies*1 in the Asia-Pacific Region to participate in the Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region (STAR) Program, which JAXA introduced at the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) held in 2007. The STAR Program will be conducted from 1 June 2009 (TBD), and activity at JAXA's Sagamihara campus has already begun.

  An international project team consisting of JAXA and the invited participants will now begin a three-year study of the EO-STAR (300 to 500kg) system and will develop Mi-cro-STAR (50 to 100kg).

  JAXA will increase the opportunities to develop human resources in the field of satellite development for personnel from the space agencies and add to the number of Earth-observation satellites in the Asia-Pacific region through this activity. In so doing, it seeks to meet the future needs for Earth observation in this area.

The major activities scheduled in the STAR program are as follows.
  1. Hold satellite technology seminars for researchers and engineers who participate in the STAR Program.
  2. Research the Earth-observation needs in the Asia-Pacific region, primarily the needs of agencies utilizing the data from Earth-observation satellites.
  3. Analyze requirements of the EO-STAR mission, define the mission and study the system based on the above. The anticipated EO-STAR mission is to monitor land and/or ocean areas. JAXA hopes the space agencies in the Asia-Pacific region will develop Earth-observation satellites based on these achievements.
  4. Plan, design, produce, test, launch and operate Micro-STAR. JAXA plans to launch Micro-STAR as a piggyback satellite with either JAXA's launch vehicle or a vehicle of one of the space agencies participating in the STAR Program, around 2012. JAXA will solicit offers from participating agencies for the launch, the ground station, or necessary equipment and materials for Micro-STAR.

*1. Six Space Agencies from the Asia-Pacific Region ANGKASA: National Space Agency of Malaysia. GISTDA: Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Thailand. ISRO: Indian Space Research Organization. KARI: Korea Aerospace Research Institute. LAPAN: The National Institute of Aeronautics and Space of The Republic of Indonesia. VAST: Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. STI: Space Technology Institute.

Background of the STAR Program

- December 2007 JAXA offered its cooperation in a new research and development program for small satellites at the 14th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-14).
- December 2008 This was named the STAR Program at APRSAF 15, and it was recommended that the conference begin the activity in April 2009 at JAXA's Sagamihara campus.
- April 2009 A temporary program office was established on the Sagamihara campus.
- June 2009 Two researchers from Indonesia (The National Institute of Aeronautics and?Space of The Republic of Indonesia (LAPAN)) came to Japan to participate on the International Project Team for the STAR Program. Thailand (The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA)), India (Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO)), Korea (Korea Aerospace Re-search Institute (KARI)), Vietnam (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST)) and Malaysia (The National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA)) have indicated their intention to assign re-searchers or engineers to participate in the STAR Program, and they are taking the necessary procedures. The researchers or engineers will ar-rive at Sagamihara campus in Japan as soon as their procedures are completed.