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Joint JAXA-NASA Workshop was held during ISS R&D Conference 2019

Last Updated: October 29, 2019

JAXA and NASA have held this year's Joint JAXA-NASA workshop on utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) as their conference. As part of the Japan-US Open Platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3), this workshop has been held since 2016 to achieve new results, and generate and maximize the benefits from utilization of the ISS and the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" through international cooperation in particular. This was the 6th workshop which followed the fifth held in Tokyo in February 2019. The workshop has provided good opportunities for presenting to each other excellent ISS utilization results brought about by JAXA-NASA cooperation as well as collaborative ideas and plans for further maximizing the results.

Joint JAXA-NASA workshop overview

Date July 29, 2019
Venue Hyatt Regency Atlanta Convention Center, GA, United States
Audience Approximately 100 persons
  • Koichi Wakata, Vice President and Director General for Human Spaceflight Technology, JAXA
  • Sam Scimemi, Director for International Space Station (ISS), NASA Headquarters within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate
  • Masatoshi Nagasaki, Co-Founder & CEO, Space BD Inc. (Japan)
  • Kazutomi Shigeeda, Aerospace Systems & Rail Leasing Div., Mitsui & Co. LTD. (Japan)
  • Mike Lewis, Chief Innovation Officer, NanoRacks (U.S.A.)
    Private entities developing facility and promoting its utilization on ISS
  • Fumiko Matsunaga, Deputy Manager, Global Business Development Space Systems Integrated Defense & Space Systems, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, LTD. (Japan)
  • Rich Boling, Vice President of Corporate Advancement, Techshot, Inc. (U.S.A.)
  • Takafumi Sakai, Manager of Research Planning Section, Research Management Center, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. (Japan)
  • Ken Shields, Chief Operating Officer, National LAB (U.S.A.)


  • The Joint JAXA-NASA workshop was presided at by Ms. Marybeth Edeen, Manager, NASA ISS Research Integration Office and was composed of two parts. The first part was a talk session by Dr. Koichi Wakata, Vice-president of JAXA and Mr. Sam Scimemi, Director for ISS at NASA. The second part was reserved for presentations of utilization of and the service provision on the ISS by US and Japanese private companies and corporate bodies. As private sector's utilization of the ISS on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is developing, the officials of these companies and corporate bodies discussed timely topics, such as efforts of JAXA and NASA for expanding private sector's utilization of the ISS and specific utilization of the ISS by private companies (service providers and end users), focusing on cooperation with the private sector in both countries.
  • In the talk session, Dr. Wakata and Mr. Scimemi shared the idea that both parties have a common long-term perspective on provision of services for on-LEO utilization of the ISS by private entities. Mr. Shimemi expressed NASA's expectations of a progress of ISS utilization in the framework of JP-US OP3 such as a joint mission using mice in partial gravity (partial-G) environments.

First Part: Talk Session

  • At the beginning of the talk, the speakers stated that the joint workshop started in 2016 has contributed to establishing a place for continuously presenting and discussing, before potential users, the efforts for maximal research results in both countries and private sector's utilization of the ISS as well as future cooperation of the two countries under JP-US OP3.
  • The speakers explained specific efforts made in both countries for expanding utilization of LEO, a long-term vision, a new framework of NASA's commercial activities and the significance of JP-US OP3.
  • The speakers confirmed the accordance of Japan's medium- and long-term vision for expansion of commercial use of LEO and efforts for realizing it with those of the United States, highlighting that both countries are committed to expanding the utilization of the ISS in harmony.
  • Both speakers revealed to the audience both countries' efforts for expanding the commercial use of LEO which will stimulate public interest in utilization service on "Kibo," both countries' commitment to expanding the utilization of the ISS and maximizing actual achievements, and Japan's presence in this field.

Second Part: US and Japanese private companies' presentations on private sector's utilization of ISS and service provision

  • As service providers of the external platform of "Kibo", the companies Space BD and Mitsui & Co. presented their specific service activities and other companies' concepts (small satellite deployment services by Space BD and Mitsui; medium-scale payload attachment services by Space BD). They have already started talking with new potential users from non-space fields. As it will take substantial time before such potential users are guided to the market, the speakers expressed their expectation for continuous operation of the ISS after 2024.
  • The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented its small animal experiment device and its functional enlargement and revealed that it was considering a rodent mission in cooperation with the US company Leidos for commercial use of the ISS in its future strategies.
  • The Yakult presented its research on the effect of probiotics on intestinal environment in a closed microgravity environment.
[United States]
  • The NanoRacks described its activities in various fields: satellite deployment, onboard experiment device (Micro-G Research H/W), suborbital missions, development of air lock and on-ground verification and mission management.
  • The Techshot presented its development of various hardwares as solutions to tissue chips, bone densitometry, rodent research and cell research.
  • The US National Lab presented its achievements in on-orbit missions between 2015 and 2019, breakdown of external funds, crew time utilization, number of launched payloads and achievements for commercial payloads.

(Credit: JAXA)


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