Tag Archives: JAXA

A planetary cubesat mission by Japan

When Japan launched Hayabusa-2 last week it also sent a secondary payload towards the asteroid, a cubesat designed to test the engineering of using minisats for future planetary missions.

PROCYON, which stands for PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation, is a 65-kg (143 lb.) spacecraft designed to demonstrate that micro-satellites can be used for deep-space exploration. In addition to testing out micro-sat systems in deep space, the spacecraft is to conduct a close flyby of an asteroid. Developed by the University of Tokyo and JAXA, PROCYON was launched as a secondary payload along with Hayabusa2 on Dec. 3. JAXA reports that controllers have received confirmation that PROCYON was inserted into its planned interplanetary orbit as scheduled two hours after launch.

The spacecraft, which measures only 630 x 550 x 550 mm (24.8 x 21.65 x 21.65 in), has a mission that is divided into nominal and advanced phases.

If this engineering proves viable, which we have every reason to expect, it will open the door to many more planetary missions, costing far less and requiring much smaller rockets to launch.

Jaxa, the Japanese space agency, announced today its management goals for the future.

JAXA, the Japanese space agency, announced today its management goals for the future.

Management Philosophy

  • To realize a safe and affluent society using space and the sky.
  • By utilizing leading technological developments, we will succeed and deliver our achievements along with broader wisdom to society.
  • Action Declaration

  • Jubilation for human society
  • We will provide enjoyment and surprise to people by evolving our lives. [emphasis mine]
  • They then added this important note: “The above management philosophy and action declaration in English are a tentative translation version, thus the original Japanese version shall take precedence if any inconsistency arises.”

    Posted as we drive past rainy Roanoke, Virginia.

    Japan’s unveiled its new Epsilon rocket yesterday, scheduled for its first launch next week.

    The competition heats up: Japan’s unveiled its new Epsilon rocket yesterday, scheduled for its first launch next week.

    Epsilon is a low-cost, high-performance, solid-fuel rocket co-developed by JAXA and IHI AEROSPACE Co.,Ltd. and designed to launch scientific satellites. Epsilon features the world’s first innovative launch system called “Mobile Launch Control” which allows for built-in checks to be conducted autonomously within the rocket’s system. This allows staff to focus on high-level monitoring, making overall performance very smooth. A spokesman joked that it is so easy to control that staff could monitor the rocket on their laptops while at Starbucks.

    In the past Japan has not been very good at building cheap and efficient rockets. We shall see how this one does.

    Japan’s entire space program faces a major overhaul.

    Feeling the heat of competition: Japan’s entire space program faces a major overhaul.

    In the last few decades Japan has not done very well in space when compared to other Asian countries like China and India. Thus, this overhaul. Yet, based on this article, it doesn’t seem to me that they are making the real changes they need to do to successfully compete. If anything, it sounds instead like the actions of a bureaucracy that is merely rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship, in the hope that this will somehow save it.