JAXA Funds Research Projects Focused on Lunar Exploration, Development

Conceptual pressurized crewed lunar rover. (Credit: JAXA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

JAXA has funded 34 research projects primarily focused on developing technology needed for the exploration and settlement of the moon.

Companies and university were selected to develop technologies ranging from hydroponic food cultivation to radiation shielding against cosmic rays and wireless transmission to rovers exploring lunar caves.

Other research projects included technology for pressurized crewed lunar rovers, lighter weight storage tanks for liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, construction techniques using simulated lunar regolith, and a hybrid propulsion system using “lump aluminum-water.”

A list of selected proposals follows. The list was translated from Japanese.


Realization of the Behavior of Construction Machinery / Automatic / Autonomous Exploration Technology

Research and Development of Construction Machinery with Force Control Function
Company: Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Tsune Sugiura

Small and Portable Groundwater Sensor / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology

Development of Next-generation Neutron Water Monitor with a View to Dual Use in Lunar Surface Exploration and Civil Engineering
Company: RIKEN
Proposer: Teruyo Enokido
Partners: St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Ritsumeikan University, Soil and Rock Engineering Co., Ltd.

Development of Highly Efficient Capture, Storage, and Utilization Technology for Low-concentration CO2 in the Atmosphere and in Closed Spaces / Local Production for Local Consumption Exploration Technology

Development of Low-cost Separation / Concentration / Storage / Utilization Equipment for Low-concentration CO2
Institution: Kyushu University
Proposer: Tomo Hoshino

Self-sustaining Recycling Hydroponic Cultivation System / Local Production for Local Consumption Exploration Technology for a Resource Recycling Society

Establishment of Closed-type Biological Residue High-speed Liquefaction Technology and Environmental Purification Type Nutrient Solution Cultivation Technology
Company: Delica Foods Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Masayuki Arii
Partners: Medical Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute Co. Ltd.., Ryosan Industry Co. Ltd., AIST. Chiba University

Automation of Spray Control in Semi-dry Fog Hydroponic Cultivation System / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology

Automation of Spray Control in Semi-dry Fog Cultivation System
Company: Ikeuchi Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Yosuke Hikosaka
Partners: Nakamura Maki Same company, Osaka Prefecture University


Research on SLAM Technology for Dynamic Route Planning of Mobile Rover / Wide Area Unexplored Peak Exploration Technology

Research on Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) Technology-based on Road Surface Information and Embedded Mounting Technology for Dynamic Route Generation
Company: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Proposer: Masanori Seki

Research on New Substance Extraction Methods from Difficult-to-reach Areas Using Small Robots / Wide Area Unexplored Peak Exploration Technology

Development of a Torus-type Storage Hand Mechanism that Realizes Multi-stage Collection of Amorphous Substance Samples
Institution: Tohoku University
Proposer: Kenjiro Tadakuma
Partner: Ono Electric Mfg. Co., Ltd.

Research on Lightweight, Deployable and Storable Mechanism / Wide Area Unexplored Peak Exploration Technology

Research on a Lightweight and Re-storable Deployment Mechanism Using a Fan-type Deployment Mechanism Intended for Application to Solar Cell Paddles and Antennas for Lunar Manned Pressurized Rover
Company: Techno Solver Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Kazuyuki Nakamura
Partner: Origami ETS GK

Research on Lightweight and High-strength Fiber Wires / Wide Area Unexplored Peak Exploration Technology

Research on Fiber Wires that Make Signal Wires (Aluminum Wires) Made of Conventional Metal Wires Lighter and Stronger
Company: KANZACC Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Hiroshi Minamiguchi
Partners: Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., Fukui Prefectural Industrial Technology Center

New 3D Printing Technology / Local Production for Local Consumption Exploration Technology

Preparation of Construction Materials Using Lunar Surface Simulated Sand by Laser Heating
Institution: Laser Technology Research Institute, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation
Proposer: Masayuki Fujita
Partners: Osaka University, Obayashi Corporation

Process Technology / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology that Effectively Utilizes Local Resources and Unnecessary Materials

Development of Bio-based CFRP and Vacuum-compatible Chemical Recycling System
Institution: Kyoto Prefectural University
Proposer: Hisashi Miyato
Partner: Forest Research and Maintenance Organization Forest Research Institute

Radiation Shielding Material / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology Using Local Resources

Development of Special” BASHFIBER® (and Fiber Structure) with High Shielding Ability Against Cosmic Rays
Company: Shin Nihon Textile Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Hiroshi Fukazawa
Partners: Quantum Science and Technology Research and Development Organization (QST), ITOCHU Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation

Sterilization Technology for Water Resource Recycling / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology

Development of Sterilization Technology Applying the Pulsed Electric Field Application Method that Contributes to the Realization of a Zero-Emission Hydroponic Cultivation System
Institution: Kitasato University
Proposer: Hayashi Furukawa
Partner: Oita National College of Technology

Research on Automatic Sterilization of Nutrient Solution Used in Plant Factories and Nutrient Solution Regeneration System Incorporating the Technology
Institution: Shimane University
Proposer: Toshiki Asao
Partners: Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Yonago Shinko Co., Ltd.

Construction of Algae and Animal Cell Recycling Culture System Aiming at Sustainable and Locally Produced and Locally Consumed Food Production / Locally Produced and Locally Consumed Exploration Technology

Construction of Algae/Animal Cell Recycling Culture System Aiming at Sustainable and Local Production for Local Consumption type Food Production
Institution: Tokyo Women’s Medical University
Proposer: Tatsuya Shimizu
Partner: Integriculture Co., Ltd.

Research on Electrochemical Amino Acid Synthesis Process that Contributes to Advanced Utilization of CO2 / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology

Development of Electrochemical Amino Acid Synthesis Process Using CO2 as a Carbon Source
Institution: Kyushu University
Proposer: Miho Yamauchi
Partner: NanoMembrane Technologies, Inc.

Research and Development of High-precision, Real-time, and Simple Gas Analysis Using Next-generation Spectroscopic Technology / Local Production for Local Consumption Type Exploration Technology

Development of High-precision, Real-time Analysis Technology for Multi-component Gas by Dual-com Spectroscopy
Institution: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Proposer: Hajime Inaba

Research on Technology for Collecting and Transporting Stools in Space Toilets / Common Technology

Development of an Innovative Mixed Transfer/Processing System Using a Peristaltic Pump for a Space Toilet
Institution: Chuo University
Proposer: Taro Nakamura

High-performance Multi-layer Insulation Technology / Common Technology

Higher Performance of Multi-layer Insulation for Liquid Hydrogen Storage Tanks with Excellent Mounting Properties
Company: Tochigi Kaneka Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Kazuaki Matsumoto
Partners: Kaneka Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Taisei Corporation

Research on Improving Efficiency of Propellant Storage System by Utilizing Boil-off Gas and Refrigerator / Common Technology

Tank Cooling System with High Efficiency Heat Exchange Tube and Boil-off Gas / Chiller Loop
Institution: Tokai National Higher Education Nagoya University
Proposer: Kibuchi Kiyoshi

Liquid Hydrogen Flow Rate Measurement Technology / Common Technology

Development of Liquefied Hydrogen Flow Measurement Technology
Company: Iwatani Corporation
Proposer: Tsuji 󠄀Kami Hiroshi

Weight Reduction/Common Technology for Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Hydrogen Storage Systems Using Composite Materials, etc.

Weight Reduction of Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen Storage System by Composite Material with Thin Film Nickel Electroplating
Company: IST Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Toshiyuki Ishibashi

Realization of Innovative Heat Transport Members / Common Technology

Development of Heat Transport Members Using Highly Crystalline Graphite
Company: Panasonic Corporation
Proposer: Takashi Tsuruta

Realization of New High-performance Optical Materials / Common Technology

Optimization Verification of High-performance Thermosetting Optical Materials Suitable for the Space Environment and Development of Related Optical Components
Company: Yoshikawa Kasei Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Naofumi Shiyama

Establishment of Basic Technology for Efficient Sterilization and Decontamination / Common Technology

Development of a Portable Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Surface Disinfection Device and Proposal of a New Biological Indicator that Easily Visually Determines its Effect
Institution: Kyushu University
Proposer: Michihiko Nakano

High-speed Low-temperature Oxygen Plasma Sterilizer that is Completely Safe and Harmless to Humans and the Environment
Company: Udono Medical Machinery Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Yuo Sato
Partner: Kyushu University

Realization of Innovative Water Electrolysis Technology / Common Technology

Maximizing the Boiling Connection Effect – Toward High-efficiency Water Electrolysis
Institution: Kyushu University
Proposer: Kohei Ito

Research / Common Technology of Mechanisms or Surfaces with Sustainable Dustproof or Dustproof Performance

Research on Mechanisms or Surfaces with Sustainable Dustproof or Dustproof Performance
Company: Nidek Co., Ltd.
Proposer: Hana Isogai

Research / Common Technology for Ultra-compact Integrated Array Antennas for Mounting by Wireless Communication/Sensor Harvester

Examination of Application of Gallium Nitride (GaN) Rectifier Element for Wireless Power Transmission to Work Robot in Lunar Cave
Institution: Nagoya Institute of Technology
Proposer: Akio Wakeshima


Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center (TansaX)
Challenge Research

Construction of a Base Camp and its Internal Green Space Where the Exodermis and Floor are Immediately Deployed
Institution: University of Tokyo
Proposer: Jun Sato
Partner: Plants Laboratory Co., Ltd.

Development of Propulsion System Using “Lump Aluminum-water” Hybrid Combustion
Institution: Tohoku University
Proposer: Isamu Saito
Partners: The University of Tokyo, Pale Blue Inc.