Education means innovation when studying in Japan


Learn more about Japanese research and development: Space exploration

Astronomical research plays an important role in Japan’s R&D plans. The development and utilization of space exploration plays a central role in establishing the basis of Japan’s existence as a nation, realizing a better quality of life, fostering industry through applications satellite-based such as telecommunications, broadcasting, positioning/navigation/timing, weather forecasting, earth observation and providing new knowledge through space science research.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is the main implementing agency that supports the development and utilization of space technology by the Japanese government. JAXA became a national research and development agency in 2015, taking a step forward to achieve optimal R&D results for Japan.

More recently, JAXA began accepting applications for the 3rd Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Kibo-RPC), which will take place in fiscal year 2022 under a revised framework. Kibo-RPC is a programming competition for the control of free-flying robots within the International Space Station (ISS) of Japan’s “Kibo” experiment module, and an education program to provide young talents with the opportunity develop skills in robotic manipulation and computer programming in a spaceship setting. This project was jointly organized by JAXA and NASA under the Japan-US Open Platform partnership program, particularly targeting students from the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, with the aim of expanding the use from Kibo to Asian regions.

The JAXA Space Exploration Center (JSEC)

JSEC focuses on international collaborations for sustainable human space exploration. Working closely with government, industry, and academia in Japan, as well as space agencies outside Japan, JSEC develops strategies, studies space systems, and manages projects. JSEC brings together JAXA’s joint activities in scientific understanding and technology development to address the challenges of human and robotic exploration.

Sustainable international space exploration

Like JAXA, space agencies around the world are turning to sustainability. By default, space missions should be as sustainable as possible as supplies are limited on spacecraft. A moon base that does not depend on regular supply missions is more viable and could last indefinitely if it created its own fuel from local resources and solar power. A series of JAXA missions are underway to ensure humans can engage in sustainable activities on the Moon and Mars, and so is the European Space Agency, which has been working for more than 25 years to create a portable ecosystem so that astronauts can bring a self-contained atmosphere into a box that will provide oxygen, water and food while processing their waste.


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