On October 1, 2003, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL), and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) were merged into one independent administrative institution to be able to perform all their activities in the aerospace field as one organization, from basic research and development to utilization. The independent administrative institution is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
This administration manages 17 facilities across Japan as well as overseas offices. From the Tanegashima Space Center, national rockets H-II are regularly launched. Through JAXA, Japan is a major partner of the international space station and contributes with the KIBO scientific module. The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is JAXA’s unmanned cargo transfer spacecraft that delivers supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
The first Japanese citizen to fly in...