Behind The Scenes / Rockets Take Off Toward Commercialization

Behind the Scenes / Rockets take off toward commercialization

By Eiji Noyori and Kazuhiko Makita / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersOn July 30, Interstellar Technologies Inc., a start-up company based in Taiki, Hokkaido, conducted its first launch of a small rocket aiming for outer space. The rocket could not reach its target, but Interstellar Technologies expects to overcome that challenge in the next trial or later. There has been vigorous work in Japan's private sector to develop rockets that can reach space, and hopes for commercialization will be put to the test.

The small MOMO rocket, about 10 meters in length, was sent up in the evening from a test launch site in Taiki. However, about a minute into the flight, a malfunction occurred in which the rocket stopped transmitting location data, causing the engine to be shut off. It is estimated to have reached a maximum height of about 20 kilometers, which is far below the goal of outer space, which is 100 kilometers above the Earth.

Japan Launches 2nd Satellite To Improve Gps Services

Japan launches 2nd satellite to improve GPS services

Japan put a second satellite into orbit Thursday to enhance the precision of its global positioning system used in smartphones and car navigation equipment.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. launched an H-2A rocket carrying the government's quasi-zenith satellite Michibiki No. 2 in the morning from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

Photo: Up, Up And Away!

Up, up and away!

Visitors to the FlyStation Japan sports facility experience the thrill of "indoor skydiving" in a wind tunnel in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture. Strong wind blows upward in the tunnel, which is about 20 meters high and 4.5 meters in diameter. Participants can enjoy the sensation of flying through the air by changing their body position.

Confirming J-alert System In Case Of Missile Test

Confirming J-ALERT system in case of missile testJapan's government is asking officials of local administrations, major railways, and telecommunications companies to confirm the integrity of their parts of the national emergency alert system.
The precaution follows the test-launch of a missile by North Korea on February 12th.

Jaxa Lunar Orbiter Confirms Earth’s Oxygen Lands On Moon

JAXA lunar orbiter confirms Earth’s oxygen lands on moonLong a mystery of lunar science, the presence of oxygen on the surface of the moon has been known to scientists but not its origin.
Now, a team of Japanese researchers has confirmed that oxygen carried from Earth by the "Earth wind," a wind of magnetospheric ions, travels 380,000 kilometers through space to reach the moon's surface.

Kounotori 6's Space Debris Removal Test Fails

Kounotori 6's space debris removal test failsJapan's space agency says its cargo ship Kounotori 6 has ended its mission after failing to test new technology for removing space debris.
Officials of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say the spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere and burned up early on Monday Japan time.

Jaxa To Test High-efficiency Thin-film Triple-junction Pv Panel In Outer Space

JAXA to Test High-efficiency Thin-film Triple-junction PV Panel in Outer SpaceJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced Dec 9, 2016, that it will mount "thin-film triple-junction" solar panels on the "Kounotori No. 6," a fueling plane for space stations.
The place where solar panels were installed is currently used as a platform for verification tests, and the new solar panels were installed in the place. The verification test of the solar panels will be carried out in an orbit in the sky and last until reentering the aerosphere.

Photo Journal: Ready To Rumble

Photo Journal: Ready to rumbleThe Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s Epsilon-2 rocket is seen on a launch pad at Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, on the night of Dec. 14, 2016 during a launch simulation. JAXA's Epsilon-2, which uses a new type of solid fuel, is scheduled to lift off on Dec. 20.

Astronaut Onishi Comes Back Down To Earth After 4 Months In Orbit

Astronaut Onishi comes back down to Earth after 4 months in orbitJapanese astronaut Takuya Onishi landed safely back on Earth aboard the Russian space capsule Soyuz after a “fun” and “fulfilling” nearly four-month stint in the International Space Station.
Onishi, 40, landed in a steppe in central Kazakhstan on Oct. 30 at 9:58 a.m. local time (0:58 p.m. JST, Oct. 30) along with two other astronauts from Russia and the United States.

Astronaut Conducts Experiments For Students

Astronaut conducts experiments for studentsJapanese astronaut Takuya Onishi has carried out experiments on behalf of students from Asia at the International Space Station.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, earlier called on students from Asian countries to submit experiments to be conducted in outer space. Five proposals were ultimately selected.

Japan Has Big Plans For Microsatellites

Japan has big plans for microsatellitesEven in the vastness of space, useful things come in small packages. These packages take the form of so-called microsatellites, which are significantly cheaper to launch than their full-size counterparts. Japan is hoping to turn the contraptions into a cash cow for its satellite industry, which relies heavily on public-sector orders.

Private Sector Readies Moon Probe

Private sector readies moon probeA model of an unmanned moon probe has been unveiled in Tokyo, with the actual vehicle scheduled to compete in an international race to explore the lunar surface.
The probe is being designed by the Hakuto team from Japan’s private sector and will likely be finished by the end of January next year. It is expected to be launched into space from the United States in 2017.