Japan's space development program, which centers on the activities of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has achieved impressive results in recent years. JAXA has conducted a series of 11 successful launches using the large-scale H-IIA launch vehicle from 2005 to 2010, and it has sent many satellites and other spacecraft aloft, including the Earth observation satellite Daichi (ALOS), the high-speed Internet communications satellite Kizuna (WINDS), the greenhouse-gas observation satellite Ibuki (GOSAT), the lunar explorer Kaguya (SELENE), and the Venus meteorological explorer Akatsuki (PLANET-C).
In 2009, the Japanese experimental module Kibo (JEM) was completed for use as a part of the International Space Station (ISS), which is being built and operated through cooperation among 15 countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, and 11 members of the European Space Agency (ESA). Kibo, Japan's first human-rated in-space facility, is now being used by astronauts aboard the ISS for experiments in a microgravity environment, such as developing new pharmaceuticals and materials.
September 2009 featured the launch of the first H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), an unmanned cargo transfer spacecraft used for delivery of supplies to the ISS. Sent aloft using the H-IIB, a launch vehicle with a larger capacity than the H-IIA, the HTV docked with the space station as planned and successfully delivered its cargo of supplies.
Advanced facilities on the ground
Use of Images and Data
JAXA Digital Archives (http://jda.jaxa.jp/en/ )
Images and videos related to JAXA's various projects are accessible to the public. The contents are available for free or for a fee depending on your purpose.
World Heritage as Seen by ALOS (http://world_heritage.jaxa.jp/en/ )
It is the website which displays selected photographs taken of World Heritage Sites taken by the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), which was developed and is operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Earth Observation Research Center (EORC) (http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/en/ )
The Earth Observation Research Center (EORC) was founded to conduct Earth-observing satellite data acquisition, processing, and research in April 1995.
Applications are accepted on an on-going basis.