Chapter2. Organisation of Space Development
2-1. Priority Areas for the Development of Space
|| Promotion of Satellite Observation
and Earth Science
Satellite observation is becoming increasingly important as a
source of useful information for Earth science and as a means of resolving
global environment problems.
To respond to social needs we will, therefore, develop and operate
Earth observing satellites. As a part of this process, we will develop
observing sensors, restructure the existing information networks,
and reinforce the institutional structure for wide use of observation
In addition to these endeavors, we will try to establish a global
Earth observation system through the coordination of observing satellites
from various countries.
||Promotion of Space Science and Lunar
We have received high praise from other countries for our efforts
in space science. We will now make further efforts to promote astronomical
observation and conduct scientific research on the solar system, planets,
and asteroids. We will also accumulate scientific knowledge about
the moon, including lunar exploration, to evaluate the possibility
of exploitation of the moon.
||Consolidating Space Activities
The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), which will be attached to the
International Space Station, is called an " Orbital Laboratory
" . JEM is expected to play a central role in research activities
both in space, and on the ground. An over- all research system will
be established in association with the Laboratory in order to consolidate
space activities .
||The Sophistication of Satellite Generic
Technology and Utilization
Japan has accumulated generic satellite technology by developing and
operating its engineering test satellites. Japan will further develop
these technologies as well as develop advanced satellite missions
and equipment for telecommunication, broadcasting, and navigation.
||Development and Operation of New Infrastructure
New space infrastructure necessary for our space activities, such
as systems and facilities, will be developed and operated. For example,
the following projects will be undertaken:
|The Advanced H-II launch vehicle
(H- IIA) will be designed to be both economical and to adapt
to growing demands for launching different satellite missions
||HOPE- Xwill be designed to establish
the main technologies for a reusable transportation vehicle
capable of drastically reducting transportation costs.
||Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS)
system will be designed to ensure effective transmission of
Earth observation and experimental data
2-2. Space Activities in Individual Fields
||Satellite Observation and Earth Science
Satellite observation and Earth science contribute to our understanding
of many areas, including weather forecasting, climate change prediction,
monitoring oceanic phenomena, geology, resources exploration, vegetation,
agricultural products , and the oceanic ecosystem. They also provide
basic knowledge about how to cope with global environmental issues
(global warming, ozone layer depletion, etc.) and natural disasters
(earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc.). As a result, it is important
to expand the activities in this field.
(1) Series of Earth Observation Satellites
A series of Earth observation satellites will be developed and operated
in a way to efficiently meet users' needs at home and abroad, and
to maintain harmony with other countries' observation and research
projects. This will be done through a collaboration by the National
Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, a development and implementing
agency), as well as universities, national research institutes, the
private sector, and government agencies. The Earth observation satellite
series consists of two categories: atmospheric and oceanic observation
satellites and land observation satellites.
The development/implementing agency and user organizations, will co-operate
to improve sensor precision and resolution, and to develop a new sensors.
Aircraft, the JEM, and satellites will be used, if necessary, to ensure
effective implementation of new sensor developments.
Meteorological satellites will be launched and operated continuously
to provide regular observation data.
(2) Use of Observation Data
To improve the use of observational data from Japanese and foreign
earth observation satellites, work to verify data validity, standardize
data quality and format, and create data processing and analytical
software, will be pursued. At the same time, ground stations and an
information network for users will be established.
The development and implementing agency and the user organizations
will make joint efforts to reinforce the institutional framework for
data use, by using the existing systems for cooperative research and
for inviting researchers.
(3) Global Earth Observation System
Japan will try to play a proper role in establishing a global earth
observation system, in harmony with the earth observing satellites
of other countries and through positive international consultation
Space science is expected to play an important role in investigating
the Earth and solar systems, astrophysics, the evolution of the solar
system, and the evolution and structure of the universe. As one of
the leading nations in this field, we consider it important for Japan
to seek international cooperation and expand our activities in the
(1) Series of Medium- Size Science Satellites and Space Probes
The medium- size science satellites and space probes will be developed
and launched by the M- V rocket about once a year. By using these
satellites, science exploration of the near earth space, the moon
and asteroids and of the solar system will be conducted together with
astronomical observation on wider wavelengths, in conjuction with
observation from the Earth.
(2) Large Science Satellites and Space Probes
Scientific research and astronomical observation of the sun and planets
will be conducted using a large satellite and a space probe, launched
either by the H-II launch vehicle or through international collaboration.
As the moon is the closest and most familiar celestial body, exploration
of the moon is a first step in extending our space activities beyond
the Earth. It is important to accumulate scientific knowledge about
the moon, and survey its topography, geology, and mineral composition
and mass distribution.
(1) Unmanned Exploration
NASDA and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS),
in cooperation with other agencies , will conduct an unmanned lunar
exploration project including the development of a lunar orbiting
satellite and a lunar landing vehicle. Project planning will take
into account and international aspects of the venture as well as progress
(2) Scientific Observation and Exploration from the Moon
Keeping other countries' Lunar programs in mind, the National Astronomical
Observatory, ISAS, and NASDA will jointly promote research and development
of observation technology and lunar infrastructure technology. This
will be done for future moon projects such as international lunar
observatory and a long-term lunar mission.
||Communication, Broadcasting, and Navigation
In the fields of satellite communication, broadcasting, and navigation,
we will deal with growing sophistication and diversification of social
needs. It is also important to develop high-risk technology, requiring
verification through a series of mission demonstration satellites
(described later). This fits in with international trends and with
Japan's contribution to the advancement of a future global information
and communication system.
Development of personal satellite-based mobile communications will
be promoted to help strengthen our communication infrastructure. Advanced
satellite communication technology, such as gigabit-class, ultra high-speed
satellite communication technology, millimeter-wave or laser satellite
communication technology, will be developed with the aim of establishing
an international high-speed satellite communication network.
Digital and high precision broadcasting, satellite broadcasting technology
related to mobile digital multimedia broadcasting and new broad-bandwidth
satellite broadcasting will be developed.
The GPS navigation satellites launched by the U.S. is used by ships
and cars, and as a research tool for determining causes of earthquakes
and volcanic activity as well as for measurement required for public
use. In order to cope with the growing sophistication and diversification
of needs in our country, we will develop elementary technology for
navigation systems, to improve precision. We will also develop new
navigation technologies associated with communications.
(4) The Aviation
A satellite will be launched and operated to ensure safety and efficiency
of air traffic control.
||The Use of Space
Space is characterized by microgravity and high vacuum. Research on
how to use those characteristics will contribute significantly to
scientific knowledge and to creating key technologies for new industries.
In particular, the Japanese Experiment Module JEM) which is an "
orbital laboratory ", will provide useful research opportunities
In addition, we should pursue research on uses of space in various
ways including international cooperation, orbital experiments, and
joint research projects on the ground among NASDA, universities, and
national research laboratories.
(1) Space Experiments
In addition to promoting JEM's development and operation, we will
perform space experiments using drop towers, aircraft, small rockets,
recoverable capsules, and the US Space Shuttle, choosing the facility
according to the experiment's characteristics . We will also develop
experimental equipment and technology, such as unmanned space experiment
systems, to meet various demands for space utilization.
(2) Research System
With a view to ensuring wide use of results from future space projects,
it is important that we enhance the research system so that researchers
from universities, national research institutes, and the private sector
In this sense, NASDA, universities, the national research laboratories,
and the private sector will promote joint research projects. NASDA
will make use of the personnel exchange program to play a leading
role in this field.
NASDA will also promote effective and wide use of the research system
by strengthening the existing support system. At the same time, we
will work to ensure safety of on-board equipment, construction of
a database for research results, and establishment of an information
network for research.
||Manned Space Activities
Manned space missions have significant implications for exploring
the possible expansion of human activities , acquiring new scientific
knowledge and pursuing the effective use of space. It is, therefore,
meaningful to promote manned space flight.
(1) Manned Space Technology
Experience and expertise in crew selection, training, and healthcare
will be accumulated through JEM's development and operation, as well
as the use of US Space Shuttle. The Technology for intravehicular
activity, extravehicular activity, and manned space systems, including
safety and reliability, will also be acquired.
(2) Space Medical Science
Research on the calcium depletion of human bone, and on the radiation
effects of stays in space will be expanded.
Moreover we will endeavor to study the closed ecosystem necessary
for man to live in space, to acquire basic technology related to manned
space activities, and to train personnel for the job.
||Basic Satellites Technology
We have accumulated the basic technologies common to all satellites
. We now feel it will be necessary to look forward and develop technology
to cater for the growing sophistication and diversification of demand.
(1) Mission Demonstration Satellites Series
It is necessary to develop mission equipment, including earth observation
sensors, with a view to familiarizing the public with the use of space.
For the development of communications , broadcasting, and navigation,
we must reduce technological risks by using operational satellites
to verify technology.
As a matter of fact, some mission equipment and space missions have
been verified using the Engineering Test Satellites (ETS)series. This
verification work will now involve developing a new series of the
mission demonstration satellites. Implementing the new series will
require cooperation between NASDA, the government agencies, universities,
national research laboratories, and the private sector, including
making satellite development cheaper and easier by adopting a common
satellite bus . We are now also discussing the introduction of announcement
of opportunities (AOs).
(2) Engineering Test Satellites (ETS) Series
We will emphasize further development and efficiently responce to
more sophisticated and diversified needs in future satellites. With
this in mind, we will use the ETS series to develop generic technologies,
such as platform satellite technology and rendezvous-docking technology.
By developing the ETS series, we will acquire basic satellite technologies
such as on-board equipment miniaturization, Iight-weight materials,
and power reduction and conservation. In addition, we will be able
to improve the reliability of electronic and mechanical devices, as
well as the performance of on-board software.
(3) Satellite Bus Technology
We have several different kinds of satellite bus in Japan. We will
now reduce development risks and cost of the mission demonstration
satellites and the earth observing satellites by adopting a common
satellite bus . Furthermore, element devices for satellite buses will
be standardized and designed for easy conversion into general use.
To expand and advance space activities, we must strengthen and restructure
space infrastructure. A robust space transportation system is a one
fundamental factor for ensuring unrestricted expansion of our own
space activities. We must therefore utilize all of our accumulated
technology to construct such a system.
(i) M launch vehicle
To advance our space science, which has been highly praised
by other countries, we will develop and upgrade the M-V launch
vehicle. We intend to use this vehicle to launch medium-size
science satellites and space probe projects.
(ii) H-II launch vehicle
The H-II launch vehicle will be able to adapt to launch demands,
through continuous efforts to upgrade and improve its reliability.
Such efforts will allow an advanced H-II launch vehicle (H-II
A) to launch a 20-ton payload into low Earth orbit (or a 4-ton
payload into geostationary orbit) with a potentially major cost
reductions. This vehicle will be developed to meet various needs
in the 2lst century, including access to the space station.
(iii) Small payload launch vehicle
Small launch vehicles including the J-I launch vehicle , will
be developed to launch small satellites.
HOPE-X will be developed to perform flight experiments as a
part of reusable transportation system, which should drastically
reduce transportation costs. HOPE-X will establish major technologies
for an unmanned, winged space plane and enable us to accumulate
technology for a future study of reusable transportation systems
(v) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)
We will develop and operate the HTV with rendezvous and docking
functions to prepare for the task of supplying logistics to
the space station.
(vi) Future Transportation System
In order to meet future transportation demands we will require,
a reusable transportation system with an innovative design.
The system will also be necessary to drastically reduce transportation
costs and protect the space environment . Based upon the results
of H-II A and HOPE-X development projects, we will initiate
a study for a reusable transportation vehicle including an unmanned
winged space plane. We will also start, if necessary, its development,
taking into consideration both international and demand trends.
Later we will also start research into a fully reusable aerospace
plane (space plane) with the capacity of horizontal take-off
and landing, in cooperation with the related research institutes.
A study for a manned space plane will also be started as part
of the preparation for manned space activities. Another study
for an orbit transfer vehicle, capable of moving from one orbit
to another, will be initiated to prepare for moon exploration.
(i) Unmanned System
To help implement space experiments, we will develop a platform
type satellite in low-and-medium altitude Earth orbits. In implementating
this project, the possibility of international cooperation should
be considered. After the platform type satellite is developed
and operated, an orbital service vehicle will be required. So,
proper coordination for these two projects is important.
(ii) Manned System
Based upon the experience and know-how obtained from the development
and operation of the JEM, research work will begin on improved
and more economical manned systems.
(i) Modification of Launch Site and Landing Field
Due to the complexity and expansion of space activities, the
launch site for the H-II A will be modified, and a new landing
field for HOPE-X will be prepared.
It may be necessary to formulate a new policy for managing and
operating the launch pads, since expanded demand for satellite
launches has been forecast for the 2lst century, together with
considerable space development. Necessary measures will be discussed,
taking into account the issues of safety and organizing international
(ii) Data Relay and Tracking Satellite System
The Data Relay and Test Satellite System (DRTS) will be developed
to transmit a large amount of observational data and experimental
data from satellites in low and medium Earth orbit to ground
stations, and to provide regular tracking and control services
for those satellites. The technology for intersatellite laser
communications technology, which is regarded a component of
future tracking and control systems, will be investigated in
orbit. Automation and autonomy will be developed to further
improve tracking and control system.
(iii) Monitoring Space Debris
In order to support manned space activities, as well as expanded
and more sophisticated unmanned space activities, we will conduct
research on space debris monitoring systems , and space weather
forecasting systems in order to predict space radiation. In
addition, large volume data transmission systems will be studied
in order to strengthen the space information and communication