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Japan focuses on Disaster Management in its space intiatives

Colorado, USA, 13 April 2007: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA ) has outlined its plans to forge a range of initiatives, from disaster warning systems, probes to Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, as well as conducting an aggressive lunar exploration campaign. Kaoru Mamiya, Vice President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) outlined his country’s long-term space plans, speaking at the 23rd National Space Symposium produced by the Space Foundation.

Mamiya detailed recent major accomplishments, such as last year’s launch of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite called “Daichi” (ALOS) meaning Terra. “It is operating smoothly and producing significant amounts of observing data,” he said.

Other recent satellite launches highlighted by Mamiya included a satellite for weather forecasting and air traffic control, Japan’s first infrared imaging satellite, “Akari”, as well as “Hinode” a solar physics spacecraft undertaken cooperatively with the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

Disaster Management:
A particular focus of JAXA’s initiatives is developing a disaster management support system. Natural Disasters being occurred world over in the form of earthquakes, wild fires, floods, etc Mamiya pointed out, “To tackle this problem for our civilization is to use space technologies”. He continued,”A JAXA initiative in this regard is Sentinel Asia, a rapid response system using satellite data and images”. Sentinel Asia involves 19 nations and 52 establishments to establish a disaster management system that is user-friendly to help combat natural disaster, Mamiya added.