National Space Development Agency of Japan
The Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) "Kodama", that the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) launched from Tanegashima Space Center on 10 September 2002 (Japan Standard Time, which shall apply hereinafter), has completed its initial function verification test and moves to the operation phase on 10 January 2003.
During the operation phase of about seven years, NASDA will try to build up more sophisticated inter-satellite communications technology using DRTS "Kodama" to relay data between the ground stations and spacecraft orbiting the mid to low altitude (about 300 to 1,000 km) such as Midori-II*1, planned Kibo*2, and so on.
*1: It refers to the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II (ADEOS-II), which was launched on 14 December 2002.
*2: This is the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) to be attached to the International Space Station.