Press Release


Japanese Experiment Module 'Kibo' awarded
'2010 Good Design Award BEST 15
(Good Design Grand Award Candidate)'

September 29, 2010 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) received the "Good Design Award BEST 15" for our Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" at the "Good Design (G-Mark) Award 2010" sponsored by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO.)
The Good Design Award BEST 15 winners are candidates for the Good Design Grand Award to be selected on Nov. 10 (Wed,) 2010.
The Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" project started in 1985 as one of the facilities of the International Space Station (ISS,) which has been built on the Earth's orbit under the cooperation of 15 countries including Japan, the United States, Russia, Europe, and Canada. At that time, although Japan had already acquired development technology for satellites and a launch vehicle, it was the first time for the country to provide a safe and comfortable space facility for experiments and operations while protecting the lives of astronauts in the space environment, which is completely isolated from the Earth and extremely harsh. As a result, some 650 companies have been involved in the development of the Kibo. As it was completed in 2009, many experiments and observations that cannot be realized on Earth are carried out every day while the safety of the Kibo is maintained through control from the ground. Almost 300 researchers have utilized the Kibo to date. The Good Design Award was presented to the Kibo because its design was highly evaluated as "a universal scale good design for which a new construction method of protecting the facility from space debris was applied, while durability, safety, operability and high air tightness were pursued."
Taking this opportunity of receiving the award, JAXA would like to further promote more people to utilize the Kibo, acquire more scientific knowledge, and apply such knowledge to life on Earth, while cultivating technology and design to support Japan's future manned space activities.
The Good Design Grand Award Ceremony for 2010 will be held on November 11 (Wed.) at the Tokyo Midtown Hall (in Minato-ku, Tokyo.)

1. Award winning item
Japan Experiment Module Kibo
"The wide variety of experiments on the "Kibo" Japanese Experiment Module that we saw televised live from space included explanations of physical phenomena that made use of the low-gravity environment and explanations of the effects of radiation and low gravity on biological phenomena, using plants and cells. Seeing these experiments, I recall the excitement of doing chemistry experiments as a child. The results of those experiments in space are replete with oddities that would be inconceivable on Earth, and make even adults feel stirrings of wonder and curiosity. The designers of "Kibo" strove for the highest possible degrees of durability, safety, operability, and air tightness and thought up new materials and new construction methods for purposes such as protection from meteors. Its pared down, functional, realistic shape is quite beautiful. The Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" is a facility for integrating knowledge that encompasses Earth's environmental problems. American and Soviet facilities, such as Apollo and Soyuz, have taken the leading roles in developing outer space, but at present, 15 countries around the world are cooperating in the construction of facilities for the International Space Station in Earth orbit, and the recent successes of Japanese astronauts and the development of "Kibo" and its accomplishments have been exceptional. It brings dreams and hopes to a weary and lethargic society in Japan, and it is even good design on a cosmic scale, reflecting the spirit of this era."

Good Design Award Website:
Japanese Experiment Module Kibo Website:

Exterior of the Kibo

Operations in the Kibo

2?Good Design Awards
The Good Design Awards (G Mark) is Japan's only comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design organized by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO) since 1998. The award's parent organization is the Good Design Products Selection System (commonly known as the G Mark system), established in 1957 by the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the current Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). For over 50 years, the Good Design Award has been given to outstanding designs by both domestic and overseas companies and groups in the pursuit of prosperous lives and industrial development. The Awards' "G Mark" symbol is widely known to indicate good design.

Good Design Award Website: