Japanese Space Spending Set To Rise by 3 Percent

by

Japan’s general activities space budget will see a 3 percent rise to 309.9 billion yen ($3.75 billion) for the fiscal year starting April 1, according to figures released Jan. 14 by the Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy (SHSP).

The Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is to receive a budget of 177 billion yen, up 18 billion yen over the current year, with substantial rises in budgets for the development of a number of high-profile space programs, Keichi Tabuchi, chief of MEXT’s Office for Space Utilization Promotion, said Jan. 14.

Programs marked for a budget increase include: the Hayabusa-2 asteroid sample return mission; the Global Change Observation Mission-Water Earth observation satellite; the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2; the Epsilon fast-launch solid-fueled medium-launch vehicle; the Astro-H X-ray astronomy satellite; and the European-led BepiColombo Mercury probe.

Other programs that will receive significant budget increases include Japan’s optical and radar reconnaissance Information Gathering Satellite program, the Ministry of Defense’s development of ballistic missile early-warning sensor technology and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s path-finding small satellite program known as the Advanced Satellite with New system Architecture for Observation.