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Leading Research Research on space exploration for the Artemis Program

In December 2020, the Japanese government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States regarding Gateway and formally decided to participate in the Artemis mission. In July 2020, MEXT and NASA also issued a joint declaration, agreeing to cooperate in lunar exploration, including joint consideration of a pressurized rover and coordination of lunar exploration opportunities for Japanese nationals. To implement such international commitments, JAXA will continue to promote research and development of (1) gravitational celestial landing technology, (2) gravitational celestial surface exploration technology, (3) human spaceflight technology, and (4) deep space resupply technology.

Specifically, JAXA is promoting research and development of technologies that can leverage Japan's strengths and contribute to international space exploration, in line with the research goals and technology roadmap organized in the "Overall Scenario for Japanese Space Exploration (Draft)" prepared by JAXA's International Space Exploration Center.

JAXA Vision for International Space Exploration (2035)

Outline of our research

In this study based on the technology roadmap, we will utilize the strengths and characteristics of Japan, and, setting priorities based on innovation and future prospects, promote the following research as important themes to be tackled.

Gravity celestial landing technology

  • Review of the concept and research on important issues such as insulating materials for suppressing the evaporation rate of cryogenic propellants for HERACLES mission, which is a technology verification mission for the purpose of manned lunar exploration
  • Research on aero capture technology for exploring Mars

Gravity celestial surface exploration technology

  • Development of a lithium ion battery with high energy density and a wide operating temperature range
  • Research on the crawler type traverse mechanism suitable for traversing on a slope

Manned space stay technology

  • Development of air and water regenerating technology that requires no water resupply
  • Development of technologies for protecting astronauts against the severe deep space radiation environment

Supply technology in deep space (Rendezvous technologies in deep space)

  • Research and development of a navigation senor system that includes highly accurate 3D LIDAR using Japan's advanced light sensor technology and a safe and robust relative navigation algorithm
  • Research of making the orbit prediction semi-realtime and complete onboard
  • Research of navigation guidance control technology for rendezvous and orbit transition to the neighborhood of the moon