JAXA Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Adopts New Guiding Principles, Motto

JAXA Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Adopts New Guiding Principles, Motto

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) turned 10 years old on October 1.  In recognition of the many changes affecting its activities over the past decade, including passage of a new Basic Space Law in 2008, JAXA adopted a new “management philosophy,” “action declaration,” and motto.

JAXA is a quasi-governmental organization that was created by the merger of three earlier entities:  the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL).   Naoki Okumura became JAXA’s newest President on April 1, 2013.

According to a JAXA press release today, the new motto for the agency is “Explore to Realize” and its management philosophy is “To realize a safe and affluent society using space and the sky.  By utilizing leading technological developments, we will succeed and deliver our achievements along with broader wisdom to society.”  

A three-part action declaration was also announced (the press release notes that the translation to English is tentative):

  • Jubilation for human society
    • We will provide enjoyment and surprise to people by evolving our lives.
  • Aspiration for creation
    • We will always aim for higher goals and continue to be aspired for creation by facing up to and overcoming any difficulties.
  • Responsibility and pride
    • We will faithfully act with responsibility and pride to confidently meet the expectations of society.

JAXA has a broad space program that includes space science, earth science and applications, space applications,  launch vehicle development, and human spaceflight (its astronauts are launched by the United States or Russia).   Japan’s best known programs perhaps are the Kibo (Hope) module on the International Space Station and the Hayabusa spacecraft that returned samples of an asteroid.  

The next Japanese-U.S. space mission scheduled for launch is the Core Observatory of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a follow-on to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).  The project involves a JAXA/NASA Core Observatory, which will work in tandem with a constellation of other new or existing satellites provided by a variety of countries.   The Core Observatory is currently at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which had planned a media event yesterday to showcase the mission before the spacecraft is shipped to Japan for its expected February launch.  The event was cancelled because of the shutdown.   Whether the shutdown delays the shipping date — and therefore potentially the launch date — is an open question.   There is no indication that GPM has been given an “emergency exception” like the MAVEN mission. 


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