Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
EstablishedOctober 1, 2003
HeadquartersChōfu, Tokyo
Primary spaceportTanegashima Space Center
MottoOne JAXA

CopyPasta from Wikipedia

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (独立行政法人宇宙航空研究開発機構, Dokuritsu-gyōsei-hōjin Uchū Kōkū Kenkyū Kaihatsu Kikō, literally "Independent Administrative Institution on Aerospace Research and Development"), or JAXA, is Japan's national aerospace agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on October 1, 2003, as an Independent Administrative Institution administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).] JAXA is responsible for research, development and launch of satellites into orbit, and is fundamentally involved in many missions such as asteroid exploration and a possible human mission to the Moon. Its motto is One JAXA and corporate message is Reaching for the skies, exploring space.


Japan's first missions beyond Earth orbit were the 1985 Halley comet observation satellites Suisei and Sakigake. To prepare for future mission, ISAS tested Earth swing by orbits with the Hiten mission in 1990. The first Japanese interplanetary mission was the Mars Orbiter Nozomi, which was launched in 1998. It reached its target in 2003, but orbit injection had to be given up.

On May 9, 2003, Hayabusa was launched from an M-V rocket. The goal of this mission is to collect samples from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa. The craft was scheduled to rendezvous in November 2005, and return to Earth with samples from the asteroid by July 2007. It was confirmed that the spacecraft successfully landed on the asteroid on November 20, 2005, after some initial confusion regarding the incoming data. On November 26, 2005, Hayabusa succeeded in making a soft contact, but whether it gathered the samples is unknown. Hayabusa returned to Earth on June 13, 2010.

On August 9, 2004, ISAS successfully deployed two prototype solar sails from a sounding rocket. A clover type sail was deployed at 122 km altitude and a fan type sail was deployed at 169 km altitude. Both sails used 7.5 micrometer thick film.

On September 14, 2007, JAXA succeeded in launching lunar orbit explorer "Kaguya", also known as SELENE (costing 55 billion yen including launch vehicle), the largest such mission since the Apollo program, on an H-2A rocket. Its mission is to gather data on the moon's origin and evolution. It entered into a lunar orbit on October 4, 2007.

Astronomy Programs

JAXA also runs a diverse selection of astronomy programs including orbital infra-red, x-ray and radio astronomy platforms.

JAXA in Fenspace

Like most mundane space agencies JAXA's mission has changed significantly with the arrival of handwavium. The sudden and drastic reduction in launch costs ended development of hardtech launch platforms in almost all cases.

Unlike some of the mundane agencies, JAXA is still very much active in space research and has funded joint ventures with several factions. One of their more notorious decisions was the funding of the Ga-38 Canary development with the Soviet Air Force. The Canary has become JAXA's primary space craft for manned operations.

As with the United States, there has been a rush to study Handwavium and its implications. However, unlike in the United States, JAXA managed to maintain permission to conduct 'wavium related research, at least as it pertained to space exploration and associated technology.

With the release of the Whole Fenspace Catalog JAXA began to shift resources to reverse engineer some of the technologies in the catalog. The first breakthrough, a compact fusion reactor was finished in 2014, which directly lead to the joined ESA/JAXA design and construction of the Thor Heyerdahl.

The Thor Heyedahl project became the first step on a long partnership of ESA and JAXA, which cumulated in the gas station mission of their four ISVs in 2017.