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Japan’s Space BD Signs Agreements With ISIS And NanoRacks At IAC Bremen

On June 24, 2016, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA photographed the brilliant lights of an aurora from the International Space Station. Sharing the image on social media, Williams wrote, “We were treated to some spectacular aurora south of Australia today.”
Image Credit: NASA

Space BD, the Japanese New Space startup company specializing in business development of Japanese space technologies and projects, announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Innovative Solutions In Space n.v. (ISIS), to be the distributor of the Dutch company’s small satellite solutions and components for the Japanese market.

The agreement was signed on the occasion of the Netherlands-Japan Space Industry Event at the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held in Bremen, Germany, in order to confirm the intention of the two parties to build a long-term strategic relationship and to combine efforts to cultivate opportunities for mutual commercial benefit.

The two parties agreed to demonstrate synergies in terms of their capabilities and geographical domains to maximize the value-proposition to their customers, and contribute to the further development of commercial low-Earth orbit (LEO) and the nanosatellite market.

The distribution agreement is the first step of the relationship, and in the future, it may be expanded with additional products and services towards building a more holistic, strategic partnership between the two companies.

The agreement comes in the spirit of Netherlands-Japan partnership. The Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are cooperating in industrial promotion and have coordinated a business matching event for both industries during the IAC in Bremen.

The two agencies hope the agreement will be the first step to a more active exchange and commerce in the future between Japan and the Netherlands in the area of space, and act as a model example of greater European-Japanese cooperation.

Space BD also announced at the IAC in Bremen that it has partnered with U.S. company NanoRacks to contribute the LEO Commercialization study being carried out on behalf of the U.S. space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Starting with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in March 2018, Space BD has strengthened its strategic partnership with NanoRacks to involve both current International Space Station (ISS) programmes and next generation in-space services to fully utilise Japanese and U.S. space assets for commercial commercial purposes. Immediately after the MoU was signed in May 2018 Space BD was selected by JAXA to be the commercial service provider for small satellite deployments from the Japanese Kibo module on board the ISS. Building on its relationship with NanoRacks, Space BD is expanding its capabilities to provide services to commercially utilise the external and internal platform of the Kibo module.

In August 2018 NanoRacks was one of 13 companies selected by NASA to study the future of commercial human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, including long-range opportunities for the ISS.

“Today, as NanoRacks announced the expansive industry team that the company will be working with to complete this study and show the viability of commercial habitats (“Outposts”) in LEO and the future of ISS commercial utilization, we are pleased to announce that Space BD is part of the industry team for the NASA LEO commercialization study,” said Space BD Co-Founder and CEO Masa Nagasaki. “Space BD will play an important role in the team not only as a contributing member, but also as an international partner representing Japan, making this study a global effort.”

“We have already identified numerous entities in Japan interested in taking part in LEO commercialization. Space BD will work to support these Japanese entities in order to realize their goals in LEO. Through LEO commercialization, Japan will continue to contribute to the evolution of mankind beyond our planet, and mark its presence in the space community,” Nagasaki added.

Space BD is a space start-up company headquartered in Tokyo. The company offers import/export support and procurement management of space hardware and components, and development and management of international and domestic space projects. Furthermore, Space BD offers one-stop launch campaign management, and in May 2018, it was awarded the contract from JAXA to be the commercial operator of the small satellite deployment service from the Japanese Experimental Module Kibo on-board the International Space Station.

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