The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA; engl for Japanese宇宙 航空 研究 开 発 机构, Uchū Koku Kenkyu Kaihatsu Kiko, German as " organization for aeronautics and space research and development ."; Translation of the English translation as " Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency " ) is a Japanese self -regulatory body ( Dokuritsu Gyosei Hojin, english Incorporated administrative Agency, Independent administrative Corporation or Independent administrative institution) under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Culture (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology). Your legally prescribed purpose, the air and space research originally expressly for peaceful use. It was created in October 2003 from its predecessor organization the National Space Development Agency ( NASDA ), the National Aerospace Laboratory ( NAL) and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science ( ISAS ).

Astronomy missions

One of the core mission of ISAS were astronomical missions. This task will be continued under the guise of JAXA. The first successful astronomy mission was Japan's Hakucho ( Corsa -B), which was launched in 1979.

X-ray astronomy

Based on Japan's first astronomy mission Hakucho was the country with the successor missions Tenma, Ginga and Asca 20 years almost continuously perform X-ray observations. This chain of success was interrupted with the false start of the Astro -E mission in 2000. It was only in July 2005, JAXA was able to continue the successful work with the Astro -E2 mission ( Suzaku ). In this respect, these start for JAXA was of central importance. The Japanese X-ray astronomy is continued in MAXI, an external camera for a complete sky scan. MAXI will be attached to the ISS in 2009. The actual follow-up mission for Suzaku Astro -H is to be launched in the summer of 2013.

Infrared Astronomy

The first Japanese space telescope for infrared range, which was launched in 1995, one-month IRTS mission was as part of the SFU - 1 satellite. IRTS scanned approximately seven percent of the sky. Finally, in February 2006, JAXA launched the Astro -F mission, a 69 -cm infrared telescope. One goal of JAXA is, as far as further develop the mechanical cooler that can be dispensed with the entrainment of liquid helium.

Solar observation

In September 2006, the Hinode mission (Solar -B) was launched as a successor to the Yohkoh satellite (Solar -A) of Kagoshima.

Space VLBI

In 1997, the ISAS launched with HALCA a radio astronomy mission for VLBI observations. This mission officially ended in 2005. The project for the planned as a follow -G Astro telescope was set in 2011.

Earth Observation

Another core task of JAXA 's Earth Observation. This applies not only to the direct observation of the earth's surface, in particular the response to natural disasters, on the other hand, the observation of the climate.

The first Japanese Earth observation satellites were MOS -1a ( Marine Observation Satellite, even Momo -1a), launched on 16 February 1987 and MOS -1b ( starting February 7, 1990 ). JERS -1 (Japanese Earth Resources Satellite, also Fuyo ) launched on 11 February 1992.

In February 2006, Japan launched the ALOS Earth observation mission ( Advanced Land Observing Satellite, also: Daichi ). This mission is due to the shortened life span of the ADEOS II / Midori II satellites ( ADvanced Earth Observing Satellite) under strong pressure. The next mission in this area was GOSAT (Greenhouse gas Observing Satellite ), which start in 2009 took place.

Extraordinarily successful, however, is the TRMM mission ( Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission ) in collaboration with NASA. However, the status of the successor GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) due to NASA's budget difficulties is unclear. In the wake of ADEOS II will launch in 2011 with GCOM -W ( Global Change Observation Mission - Water) the first of a series of six new Earth observation satellites. The EarthCare mission, which will start approx 2016Vorlage: should future / take place in two years, is a cooperation between ESA and JAXA for measurements of clouds, aerosols and radiation in the atmosphere.

The weather forecast for Japan to serve the Himawari satellites.

The JAXA is a member of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Other JAXA missions

  • DRTS ( Kodama ): Data Relay Satellite since 2002
  • EXOS -D ( Akebono ): Aurora surveillance since 1989
  • Geotail: Observation of the magnetosphere since 1992

Interplanetary missions

The first spacecraft was Japan's Sakigake and Suisei, who launched to comet Halley in 1985. The experimental technology mission Hiten ( Muses -A) was from 1990 to 1993 on the Earth's moon active. In 1998, the Mars mission Nozomi (Planet -B) was launched, but failed in 2003.

For the implementation of interplanetary missions, JAXA is a 64 -meter telescope in Useda available. Other planned interplanetary missions are the Venus probe Akatsuki and in cooperation with the ESA BepiColombo Mercury probes. In addition, the aim is JAXAs to launch a solar sail mission to the planet Jupiter after 2010.


Launched in May 2003, asteroid mission Hayabusa ( Muses -C) was her destination, the asteroid ( 25143 ) Itokawa, reached in September 2005 and investigate scientifically. The main objective of the mission was to collect dust particles from the surface of the asteroid and back to transport to Earth. 13 June 2010 Hayabusa re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. The return capsule landed as planned in South Australia, in her a number of small particles were found which were then further investigated. In November 2010, the result of the investigation was announced.

Lunar missions

In September 2007, the lunar orbiter Kaguya was launched. He orbited the moon until he was forced to crash on 11 July 2009 due to lack of fuel. In addition, JAXA developed penetrators that should be used with the probe LUNAR -A. This mission but was deleted.

The JAXA is planning an ambitious lunar base project to be completed in 2020 for 2015. It is a project that humanoid robots ( similar models such as the robonauts NASA ), are sent to the moon, which will build an unmanned robotic lunar base near the south pole of the moon by 2020. The robotic lunar base is to be powered by solar energy. The robots are according to present plans, weigh around 330 per kilogram, have humanoid upper body with gripping arms, seismographs, crawler chassis and solar panels on the heads. This robot will be remotely controlled from Earth, but an independent AI will have with a certain autonomy and be able to repair itself. The robots would gather next to the base building and rock samples to be sent by rocket to Earth. The project is expected to cost around 2.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Communication technology


In August 2005, Japan launched with the help of a Russian Dnepr rocket from Baikonur, the Kirari - test mission for the establishment of optical links between satellites. A connection with the ESA's Artemis could not be established in December 2005.


JAXA launched the ETS - VIII mission in December 2006. The role of ETS- VIII is to make mobile communication with a GEO satellite. Launched in February 2008 WINDS satellite will enable faster Internet connections within Japan.


Unlike Europe, China and Russia JAXA 's not planning to create its own global navigation system. Target JAXAs it is rather to improve the accessibility of existing GPS signal within Japan. Japan is trying to achieve this by one satellite of the Quasi - Zenith Satellite System ( QZSS ) is positioned on its flight path just above the zenith of Japan.

The launch of the first satellite was held in September 2010.

Projects (selection)

  • Mu - launchers - no longer in use
  • H- II and H - 2II - launchers
  • Mars Orbiter Planet B / Nozomi (fail)
  • Asteroid mission with sample- return MUSES-C/Hayabusa ( entered the Earth's atmosphere on June 13, 2010)
  • Moon probe SELENE / Kaguya ( in use ) and LUNAR -A (in development)
  • Kibo module for the International Space Station ( the first manned Japanese module in space )
  • The unmanned cargo spacecraft H-2 Transfer Vehicle ( first start September 10, 2009 )
  • Supersonic aircraft (in development)

Proposed projects

  • NeXT x-ray telescope
  • SPICA, 3.5 - meter infrared telescope
  • Selene 2, Moon Lander
  • Hayabusa 2
  • Marco Polo

Overview of active missions