JAXA-ESA Joint Statement concerning the bilateral cooperation

ESA Director General Prof. Johann-Dietrich Woerner and JAXA President Naoki Okumura. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — On March 3, 2018, on the occasion of the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) held an Inter-Agency Meeting to discuss furthering their bilateral cooperation. In the meeting JAXA and ESA announced a joint statement concerning the results of the studies of the Joint Working Groups established last May and future collaboration between the two agencies.

JAXA-ESA Joint Statement

On 2 March 2018, JAXA President Naoki Okumura and ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner held a meeting in Tokyo at the occasion of the 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2). Both Heads of Agency reviewed the activities of two joint working groups which were defined in the Joint Statement signed on 15 May 2017, and confirmed progress and results achieved since May 2017 as follows:

Collaboration in the Expansion of the Scope of Activities

Based on the results of the working group, the two Heads of Agency recognize the significance of future sustainable lunar exploration and shared information about respective JAXA and ESA exploration scenarios. Both Heads of Agency support the concept of the mission scenario detailed in the ISECG Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) 3rd edition including the Deep Space Gateway (DSG), and support the cooperative study of the technology demonstration mission for future lunar exploration, that ESA, JAXA and Canadian Space Agency are jointly carrying out. This technology demonstration mission aims at maturing technologies for propulsion, guidance, navigation, long-range surface mobility and in-situ resource utilization, to be used in future lunar surface missions.

Joint Efforts to Tackle Common Challenges on a Global Scale

For contributing to effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, ESA, JAXA and the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) signed an agreement regarding the cooperation in the remote sensing of Greenhouse Gases and related missions on 12 December 2017, aiming at making satellite data to be a scientific evidence of the greenhouse gases inventory reported by each country. This agreement is to improve the reliability and to assure consistency of the GHG data observed by multiple satellites through validation and calibration of data from Japan’s GOSAT, the world’s first satellite dedicated to observing greenhouse gases launched in 2009, its successor GOSAT-2 to be launched in 2018, ESA’s earth observation satellites Sentinel-5P launched in 2017 and FLEX.

Cooperation on BepiColombo

The ESA-JAXA joint Mercury exploration mission, BepiColombo, will be launched in 2018. ESA and JAXA support the continuing collaborative efforts, including Public Relations activities, for this significant and long-term mission.

Based on the progress described above, both Heads of Agency agreed to further advance cooperation in these fields.

  • The rules of rhetoric say you should usually state the most important fact first. The first thing they agreed to was working together on the DSG/LOPG. Looks like we’re going back to the Moon!

    It may have taken a generation longer than we would have liked but at least it’s happening.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I don’t consider astronauts being in a $30 billion dollar space station running robots on the lunar surface as going “back” to the Moon. It’s just another dead end pork program with the single purpose being to justify the SLS/Orion.

  • Markus Landgraf

    Please have a look at the Global Exploration Roadmap at http://globalspaceexploration.org to see how “running roots on the lunar surface” will prepare “going back” only 4 to 5 years later.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Only if American Taxpayers are willing to pay for it. Really that is all this is, a wish list by foreign governments on how America should spend its tax dollars on projects they want to see but are not willing to pay more than a token amount to fund. BTW it is dated from 2013, based on a 2011 meeting, which makes it really out of date.

  • duheagle

    DSG/LOPG has nothing to do with going back to the Moon and everything to do with pork for the usual beneficiaries.

  • duheagle

    And there will be precious little, if any, running of robots on the lunar surface. DSG/LOPG is only planned for occupancy about two weeks per year.

  • P.K. Sink

    The DSG would probably be a dead end if we didn’t get international and, even more importantly, commercial participation. But it looks more and more like we’re gonna get both. WAHOO!

  • Michael Halpern

    No still a dead end and i don’t consider that a bad thing it exists so sls has a place to go

  • duheagle

    Yes. Which is why we get a 2-fer if SLS should die before the first DSG/LOPG launch.

  • Michael Halpern

    actually as the first LOP-G component is being launched commercially, it has a bit more chance

  • duheagle

    That’s news to me. I thought the first component was the power module and was to be placed as part of the EM-2 mission using SLS and Orion. Can you point me at something that says otherwise?

  • duheagle

    What “commercial participation?” Legacy contractors on cost-plus contracts don’t count as “commercial” in my book and I’m not currently aware of any other non-governmental participation.

  • Michael Halpern

    Part of the current budget plan iirc

  • P.K. Sink
  • Michael Halpern

    Ohh i highly doubt there will be much in the way of cost plus when it can be avoided

  • duheagle

    You sweet, naive, beardless boy, you!

  • duheagle

    Nice graphic, but – anent DSG/LOPG – both the Commercial Transportation Systems and the Russian Crew Transportation System are, as Elon would put it, “aspirational,” not real.

  • Michael Halpern

    No Nasa seems to really like CRS style these days, logically unless it’s a unique component they are likely to follow that model

  • duheagle

    The history of Commercial Crew would seem to contradict that assertion. And DSG/LOPG seems to be more of the usual “fix is in” crapola for the benefit of legacy contractors.

  • duheagle

    It seems you are right. The shift is apparently a consequence of SLS’s continuing schedule slippages and a desire to get DSG/LOPG started before the second SLS mission launches. Given the 2022 timing, I guess it will be a horse race between Falcon Heavy and New Glenn for this contract. Vulcan ACES won’t be ready to go by then.

  • Michael Halpern

    From what i have observed its a mixed bag, for many astronaughts and engineers i have seen interviews of the feeling is for unique capabilities yes you need cost plus and its the way to go, but uniqueness isn’t needed everywhere, and where there’s a commercial market for something (like possibly private stations and launch capabilities and com sats) commercial is better