Do you know! the single largest part of the International Space Station is “Kibo”. And this part is made by a Japanese space agency named- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). JAXA was formed on 1st October 2003 and it is responsible for developing satellites to do advanced research on supersonic planes and space. Since its origin Jaxa has done an amazing job in the field of space science. The following facts will prove how this agency is more vital than others.
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- JAXA is an independent government agency fully funded and supported by the Japanese Government.
- Before 2003 it was divided into three different agencies. The first one was the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science(ISAS) which used to work on discoveries of planets and space objects. The second one was the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan(NAL) which was also involved in different scientific research. The third and last one was the National Space Development Agency of Japan(NASDA), that was involved in developing rockets and satellites. NASDA was responsible for developing the single largest part of the ISAS- Kibo.
- The Japanese space agency does not only work on Moon and planets, but it is involved in different Asteroids as well. In the year of 2003 then Institute of Space and Astronomical Science or ISAS developed a satellite named Hayabusa. Hayabusa was a robotic spacecraft that was sent to an asteroid named 25413 Itokawa. 25143 is a floating asteroid. Artificial satellite Hayabusa’s mission was to collect dust and soil sample form 25143 Itokawa.
- Hayabusa was launched from Vchinoura Space Center in 2003 and it was landed on Itokawa in 2005. Hayabusa came back to the Earth with the samples on 13th June 2010. During return it was landed on an Australian city Woomera.
- 3rd December 2014, JAXA again launched its second satellite Hayabusa 2 for a new asteroid named 162173 Ryugu. Its mission was the same as Hayabusa and was also a robotic spacecraft. Hayabusa 2 landed it’s a robot on a 1-kilometer diameter asteroid 162173 Ryugu in 2018. It collected samples from the asteroid and started it’s returning journey in November 2019. Hayabusa 2 will be back to the Earth by December,2020.
- JAXA is very much active in infrared astronomy since 1995. Japan sent its first Infrared Space Observatory into space in 1995. Infrared Space Observatory was active until 1998. Another infrared-based space observatory is Akari. By 2032, JAXA is planning to launch the most advanced Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics.
- Not only Infrared astronomy, but also JAXA is working on X-Ray Astronomy, Radio Astronomy. It has launched many satellites to study the Sun. Hinode satellite(Solar B) launched in 2006 to study the Sun. Hinode will be active until 2022.
- U.S.A government-sponsored GPS and JAXA jointly developing four satellites under Quasi-Zenith Satellite System or Michibiki. Till 2018 four satellites (Michibiki 1, Michibiki 2, Michibiki 3, and Michibiki 4) are on the operational stage. After their successful launch, U.S.A is planning to send more seven satellites under the QZS project by 2020.
- Japan also tried its luck in sending spacecraft to Mars. They were initially failed on their maiden launch but did not lose hope. Currently JAXA is trying for human colonization in Moon and Mars.
- JAXA satellite SELENE was the first satellite that identified a huge tunnel under the Moon’s surface. Initially the size was not predictable but after the landing SELENE robot traced as 50 km long and 100-meter wide tunnel. SELENE (Kagayu) was launched from Tanegashima Space Center on 14th September 2007.
- JAXA launched the world’s first satellite GOSAT (Greenhouse Gas Observing Satellite is also known as Ibuki)in 2008, which was dedicated to the greenhouse gas monitoring. Its main objective was to help scientists to study the density distribution of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- In a joint venture with NASA, JAXA developed TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) in 1997. TRMM’s primary mission was to observe the tropical rainfall seasons.
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