ISU MSS 2024

Interstellar Selected by JAXA as Priority Launch Provider

Interstellar Technologies
Credit: Interstellar Technologies

Ibadan, 29 March 2024. – Interstellar Technologies Inc., a comprehensive space infrastructure company, has announced the signing of a basic agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) regarding the procurement of launch transport services. The agreement looks to select private-sector entities capable of launching satellites developed under JAXA’s small satellite missions, thus advancing the commercialization of space transportation services by startups and other entities through launch contract procurement.

Furthermore, the agreement is in accordance with JAXA-SMASH (JAXA-Small Satellite Rush) Program which aims at expanding transportation and small satellite missions. Privately selected transport services under this program will launch small satellite missions publicly solicited by JAXA. This initiative also aims to capture overseas demand.

Notably, the Japanese Government has proposed a policy initiative to secure approximately 30 domestic launch opportunities annually, utilizing both Government and private rockets, by the early 2030s. In light of this initiative, Interstellar will continue to further autonomous domestic space access through the ongoing development of the rocket ZERO, which integrates reliability and cost competitiveness.

In September 2023, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected Interstellar for the “Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR Phase 3)”, encouraging research and development by startups and others. The startups consequently receive governmental support for both research and development and launch contract procurement to achieve early realization of affordable, frequent private space transport services domestically.

Speaking on the agreement, Takahiro Inagawa, CEO of Interstellar Technologies Inc., commented, “Space technology’s complexity and the limited opportunities for challenges have hindered the expansion of space utilization and industrial growth. JAXA-SMASH presents an innovative opportunity for demonstrating cutting-edge technology with satellites to break through these limitations. We have the honor to be part of it, bringing our space transport services to the table.”

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