Interstellar Technologies Partners with JAXA to Expand Space Transport Services

Interstellar Technologies ZERO smallsat launch vehicle

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Insider Brief:

  • Interstellar Technologies Inc. has signed a collaboration agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to offer launch transport services for small satellite missions.
  • The company has been designated as “Launch Operator A,” making it a priority recipient for future procurement contracts.
  • The announced partnership aligns with Japan’s new Space Basic Plan which was approved by the Cabinet in June 2023.
  • Image credit: Interstellar Technologies

 

Interstellar Technologies Inc. has signed a collaboration agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to offer launch transport services for small satellite missions. The partnership, established under JAXA-SMASH (JAXA – Small Satellite Rush Programme), aims to expand transportation and small satellite missions. Interstellar has been designated as “Launch Operator A,” making it a priority recipient for future procurement contracts.

Interstellar’s smallsat launch vehicle, ZERO, is designed to target the burgeoning market for small-sized satellites. The first launch of ZERO is in the works with the company drawing on insights from the successful launch of the private suborbital launch vehicle MOMO.

Interstellar provides customised launches tailored to satellite companies’ unique needs and cost-effective pricing which is enabled by an integrated development and manufacturing process. This allows them to offer their clients services for under 800m JPY per launch in mass production.

The announced partnership aligns with Japan’s new Space Basic Plan which was approved by the Cabinet in June 2023. The plan aims to meet domestic demand and also capture overseas opportunities by launching all domestic satellites using either Japan’s flagship rockets or private rockets by 2028.

Japan’s government is prioritizing research and development in the space sector including launch contract procurement. This is exemplified in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selection of Interstellar for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR Phase 3).

Takahiro Inagawa, CEO of Interstellar Technologies, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “JAXA-SMASH presents an innovative opportunity for demonstrating cutting-edge technology with satellites to break through these limitations. We are honored to be part of it, bringing our space transport services to the table. Looking ahead, we anticipate a substantial increase in space transport opportunities domestically. However, we’re all hands on deck, pushing ahead with technology demonstration and business development, ready to seize the day in this new era.”

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