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Tokio Marine & Nichido and JAXA have started co-creation activities related to "Space Risk Solution Business"

November 10, 2023 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

 Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. (President: HIROSE Shinichi, hereinafter referred to as “TMNF”) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (President: YAMAKAWA Hiroshi, hereinafter referred to as “JAXA”) have embarked on co-creation activities related to space risk solution business under the framework of JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation (J-SPARC)*1, which aims to create space businesses based on unconventional approaches.

1. Background to co-creation activities

 The space industry market is projected to grow more than three times the current size to 150 trillion yen by 2040.*2 Given the anticipated growth, a number of companies have been making inroads into the industry, joining conventional rocket and satellite launch operators.
 The new Basic Plan on Space Policy*3 finalized by the Japanese government in June 2023 states that, to ensure space security and strengthen industrial competitiveness, it is crucial to promote space development and utilization through public-private partnerships and drive further participation of private entities. As the space industry grows, the following elements are becoming increasingly important: Risk assessment of private commercial space station services with an eye to on-orbit servicing*4 and the post-International Space Station (ISS) era*4; risk reduction consulting service aimed to increase the probability of mission success; and measures to address space debris for the achievement of a sustainable space environment.
 Meanwhile, as new pilot missions including on on-orbit servicing have rarely been performed, on-orbit risks are hard to visualize and quantify. Appropriate arrangement of insurance can therefore be difficult, posing challenges for new corporate entrants into the industry. In addition, no method to accurately assess the risk of space debris has been established so far, which is also an issue that needs to be addressed.

2. Co-creation activities

 In light of such backdrop, JAXA and TMNF will co-create a space risk solution business by combining TMNF’s track record and expertise in space insurance and JAXA’s technological risk management expertise in space missions, with the aim of encouraging companies to advance into the space industry and supporting their business continuity. In the initial phase, our target clients will be private commercial space station operators.

[Service examples of space risk solution business]
(TMNF will provide the following services in phases from fiscal 2024 based on the outcomes of the co-creation activities.)

 (1) Quantitative assessment of risks concerning operation of private commercial space stations
 (2) Risk reduction consulting service related to the above; provision of insurance products and services
 (3) Provision of comprehensive risk management methods for space startups

<Strengths and roles of TMNF>

 TMNF has been recommending insurance products and offering risk consulting services to rocket launch operators and satellite manufacturers in collaboration with Tokio Marine dR Co., Ltd., which is responsible for Tokio Marine Group’s core data functions. Through the co-creation activities, TMNF aims to establish assessment methods for risks concerning private commercial space station operation and the surrounding space environment including space debris, thereby helping new entrants take out insurance and supporting business operators to enhance the mission success rate.

<Strengths and roles of JAXA>

 With regard to JAXA’s methodologies for risk quantification and project risk assessment, which have been utilized for its manned space activities and other projects, JAXA will verify their effectiveness when applied to space businesses in the private sector, and support their business feasibility studies from the technological perspective. The aim is to encourage a wide range of players to advance into new business fields including post-ISS and on-orbit servicing in the hope to further expand the rapidly growing space industry market. The outcomes of the co-creation activities will be utilized to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the risk quantification methods used for JAXA’s new missions.

3. Goal

 Through the co-creation activities, TMNF and JAXA aim to develop risk management methods based on risk visualization/reduction consulting services and insurance, and make a safe and secure environment in the space industry to encourage more companies—leading companies and startups alike—to enter into and continue business in the industry. The two entities will exhaustively identify risks specific to space and offer highly specialized solutions encompassing all steps from problem identification to improvement proposals, thereby contributing to sustainable space development.

*1 JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation (J-SPARC)
J-SPARC is a business co-creation program that begins with dialogue between JAXA and private companies and others looking to move into the space business. Based on a commitment of both parties to commercialization, they proceed to consider business concepts and develop/demonstrate exit-oriented technologies with the aim of creating new businesses. Launched in May 2018, the program has so far resulted in the pursuit of more than 40 projects and activities. (Japanese only)

*2 Projection of the space industry
Morgan Stanley (U.S.) projects in its report that the global space industry will grow to around 1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2040.

*3 Basic Plan on Space Policy
The basic plan set forth by the Japanese government on the basic space policy for the next decade, looking ahead to the next two decades. The Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy officially finalized the new Basic Plan on Space Policy in June 2023. (Japanese only)External Link

*4 On-orbit servicing
Services for satellites in orbit, including inspection, repair, refueling, equipment replacement, and space debris removal.

*5 Post-International Space Station (ISS) era
Low Earth orbit activities in and after 2030, when the operation of the ISS terminates and private commercial space stations operation services are expected to develop.

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