As Japan and the US continue to move forward on space research projects like the International Space Station (ISS), the heads of the space agencies from both countries gathered in Washington DC to celebrate a deepening relationship! JAXA President Naoki Okumura hailed the recent extension of ISS Cooperation until at least 2024, and detailed Japan’s ambitions for expanded spaceflight capabilities.
Dr. Okumura, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden were also joined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan at the Ambassador’s Residence. Earth observations have played an important part in cooperative efforts, with missions such as JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) which has helped NOAA forecast severe storms and monitor the decline of arctic sea ice.
Counselor Tomohiko Arai, head of the science section at the Embassy said that “it is a very exciting time for Japan in space exploration. Whether in space with its astronauts on board the ISS performing revolutionary scientific studies, or on the ground developing new rockets such as the H3, I commend JAXA for having made Japan stand out as a key international player in space exploration!”