Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency:JAXA
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Message from JAXA Director

Message from the Director General


JAXA Vice President and Astronaut,
Director General Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate,
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

I am honored to lead the dedicated men and women in the Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate and the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center starting in April 2018 as Vice President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). I appreciate your support and cooperation as I take on this challenging task of producing fruitful results and tackling new issues in the agency.

Notably, Japan’s human space activities are now reaching a critical turning point. The recent expansion of space activities in many countries around the world including those led by the private sector underline the fast-paced changing environment that surrounds Japan.

Policy decisions on the utilization of low Earth orbit (LEO), including the International Space Station (ISS), and the forms of Japan’s participation in future international space exploration beyond LEO are imminent. We, at JAXA, need to further develop human space technologies fully leveraging Japan’s global competence, pursue the establishment of “Kibo” as a research and development base by providing more accessible utilization service, and expanding cooperation with private and other organizations, as well as steadily promote and accelerate the efficiency of the “Kibo” operation forecasting future LEO utilization.

In pursuit of these goals, I will place particular emphasis on the Human Spaceflight Directorate addressing the following three major challenges:

Challenge 1 concerns the production of new utilization services with the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and promoting the commercialization of such services in cooperation with the private sector.

Challenge 2 concerns striving to realize automation and autonomous operation of routine tasks in space by making the best use of technologies, such as AI and robotics, in response to a diversified “Kibo” utilization.

Challenge 3 concerns the technical assessment of the international human space exploration beyond LEO and the LEO activities in the future.

In the international space exploration beyond LEO, we need to accelerate the development of technologies where Japan should establish its predominance; and, in LEO activities, we should consider a prompt response to user needs and demonstrate continued LEO utilization already in an early phase.

Currently, many companies and entrepreneurial ventures are interested in utilizing outer space. This trend dictates that the Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate of JAXA must actively enhance activities that help results from space exploration take root in society, as well as its arduous research and development intended to help raise awareness for the wide-ranging effects of commercialization and utilization through the operation of “Kibo”.

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