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Japan Space Agency Seeks R&D Proposals for Commercial Space Stations

R&D project opportunities

Japan Space Agency Seeks R&D Proposals for Commercial Space Stations

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has issued an invitation for industry research and development proposals on various technologies that would support future commercial space stations and replacement efforts on the International Space Station. 

Yasuo Ishii, JAXA senior vice president, told participants at the Spacetide conference in Tokyo that the proposal invitation is part of the Japanese government’s new Space Strategic Fund with a 10-year, $6.2 billion budget for developing Japan’s space industry, SpaceNews reported Monday.

The request for proposals covers five initial areas, including launch vehicles, satellite constellations and lunar exploration. Additional R&D topics for solicitation later will focus on commercial space capabilities, such as space station modules, cargo transport and life science experiment systems. 

Ishii also disclosed that JAXA is exploring the possibility of Japan joining NASA’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development program. NASA has added funding to its current program partners — Voyager Starlab station and the Orbital Reef station of Blue Origin of Seattle — to accelerate LEO destinations for commercial space activities in anticipation of the International Space Station’s 2030 retirement.

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Category: Space