How we started
Since the Japanese government announced their policy titled “Comprehensive Strategy on Science, Technology, and Innovation 2014 – A Challenge for Creating Japan in a New Dimension – (approved by the Cabinet on June 24, 2014),” public research institutions and agencies have been expected to perform strongly and contribute to innovation. Based on this strategy, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was re-organized in April 2015 and the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center was established. Through this innovation hub center, we will develop more research projects and establish them within JAXA as a whole. To accomplish this, we will gather knowledge and specialists from various fields and create a new research team for their activities. The center is located on the JAXA Sagamihara Campus. As of April 2015, the center has approximately 30 staff who have undertaken new activities, and are working in three reaearch areas:
1) “exploration technology in a wide range of unexplored areas”; 2) “automatic and autonomous exploration technology”; and 3) “In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technology.”
Message from our Director
As Japan and other countries around the world are rapidly expanding their lunar and planetary exploration, what is the ultimate goal of space exploration? I participated in the formulation of "Space Vision 2050" announced by The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences last year. I predicted that 30 years from now, in the future, space near the Earth will be a part of global society as a place of human activity, and human beings will regularly stay on the Moon and Mars, and people will routinely travel to space as tourists. Such an affluent world does not appear suddenly, but is supported by gradual development in various fields.
While space exploration today is supported by many research activities and government support, the role of industry will become very important in the future. If companies are not able to get into space activities and start new businesses, there will be no hope of a sustainable space program. However, it's also true that the bar to entry into space is high for the average company. Therefore, JAXA Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center (hereinafter “Exploration Hub”)'s policy is "Dual Utilization," which focuses on the feasibility of commercialization/innovation on the ground, with the aim of applying it to future space exploration, and we believe that this approach will be extremely effective in bringing sustainable growth to space development as industry sequentially expands its role.
With this excellent approach, over the past five years we have achieved a wide range of research and development results in the areas of Exploration technology in a wide range of unexplored areas, Automatic and autonomous exploration technology, In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technology, and Common technology, from the challenge of embryonic new technologies to the realization of technology demonstrations in space, and we are gradually realizing our target of open innovation. On the other hand, the attempts so far have not yet been on a large enough scale, and there will be a need to regularize the activity of pursuing innovation and ensure that it is applied to the expansion and exploration of the business by companies. We would like to see the activities to bring together a diverse range of human resources and research and development themes in the hub promoted as Phase 2 activities of Exploration Hub. We look forward to the participation and cooperation of a wide range of people from industry, government, and academia.
Our Logo Mark "TansaX"
TansaX is a nickname of the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center. TansaX includes a meaning of the creation of “X,” i.e., “unexpected things,” through our research and development for Tansa*. TansaX is also the acronym for “Technology Advancing Node for SpAce eXploration.”
*“Tansa” means “exploration” in Japanese.
The Logo symbolizes our aim to expand the humanosphere and the domain of human activities within the Solar System. “X” symbolizes a rocket engine nozzle and projects the image of flying freely and vigorously from the Earth (blue) to the Moon (yellow), the asteroids (gray), and Mars (red) in the Solar System.
Innovation hub construction support by JST
Our “Open Innovation Hub for Expanding Humanosphere and the Domain of Human Activity through Solar System Frontier Development (Open Innovation Hub)” was selected for the Support program for starting up innovation hub sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). With JST’s support, innovative technology development has become more promising.
The expansion of humanosphere and the human activity domain through space exploration development will be directly linked to creating values for new space development applications.
In the next ten to twenty years, space exploration will be primarily led by activities to explore the moon and Mars through international collaboration and competition. Various entities will be involved, including private companies.
Request for Proposal(RFP)
e-mail:SE-forum (at mark) jaxa.jp
If you have any questions, please contact us via this e-mail address. Please allow 10-15 business days for a reply.