September 20, 2017 – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) held the Inter-Agency Meeting to strengthen and deepen the bilaterall cooperation, on the occasion of Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund’s visit to Japan. JAXA and DLR announced the joint statement concerning the result of the meeting and the establishment of the joint working groups to discuss the new collaborative areas, in the joint press briefing after the meeting.
DLR-JAXA Joint Statement
Germany and Japan have been working together on space and aeronautics activities for more than 30 years. To strengthen this cooperation, the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (German Aerospace Center, DLR) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) signed an ‘Inter Agency Arrangement for Strategic Partnership’ in February 2016. This collaboration is aimed at promoting the development and utilization of aerospace technologies to solve global societal challenges, as well as furthering their substantial joint work in research and development projects and missions, through the synergy of German-Japanese cooperation, thereby making both countries more competitive. Today DLR and JAXA reiterate their willingness to consider further joint efforts, specifically in the three areas as follows:
- Both organizations are jointly willing to improve the accuracy of satellite Green House Gasses (GHG) data and promote its applications, that will contribute to government-level efforts and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) discussions against the global climate change issues, thereby contributing to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
- Both organizations also intend to make the maximum use of micro-gravity environments, including those obtained onboard the International Space Station (ISS). There are also plans in place to explore the possibilities of potential future collaborations in space exploration beyond the Low Earth Orbit. The upcoming 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2), which is to be hosted by the Government of Japan on 3rd March 2018, will be an important venue, allowing views to be exchanged on facilitating a productive dialogue about international cooperation for space exploration.
- Both organizations are investigating the possibility of further bilateral collaboration in the field of planetary science. A symbolic DLR-JAXA collaboration is “Hayabusa2” with MASCOT onboard, which is travelling to the asteroid “Ryugu”, and is scheduled to reach its destination in the summer of 2018. Following this mission, JAXA is planning a mission named “DESTINY+” to demonstrate future technologies for deep space exploration by using high-performance ion engines and slimmed-down, lightweight devices onboard. The mission is also aimed at understanding the process through which the Earth became habitable. In order to elucidate the mechanism of the interplanetary dust which contains organic molecules that are essential for life, JAXA plans to develop instruments to observe an active asteroid Phaethon during its flyby, whereas DLR has an interest in providing a Dust Analyzer, a field in which Germany has had the leading expertise in the world for decades.
DLR and JAXA are planning to conduct these joint activities over the next six months.