宇宙航空研究開発機構 サイトマップ

Research & Development

Mission Payload Division

This Group is engaged in R&D on the equipment categorized in the following, which is specific for space exploration missions.

In the following, explanations are given along with mission flow.


Lunar/Planetary Rover

This is surface moving robots (also called rover) that can move on the surface of the Moon or planets.
The rover moves around rough terrain and sand-covered surface on the Moon or planets to perform various tasks such as in-situ survey, sample collection, measurements, and installation of equipment.


Drilling Equipment

This is equipment to drill surface of the Moon or planets to collect or investigate subsurface soil.
On the earth, drilling machine can dig and dump soil by using water or air. Since air or water, however, is scarce on the Moon or planets, we cannot rely on them and so have to devise ingenious ideas.

Radiation Monitor

This equipment investigates radiation environment, etc. around the lunar or planetary surface.
Particularly, when we plan to construct a manned base on the Moon, etc., pre-investigation on intensity of radiation is crucial to take measures for men to stay safely.


Assembly/Construction Robot

This robot is to carry out works such as connection and wiring of instruments, construction, assembling of structures on lunar base, etc.


Rock/Soil Sampler

This is equipment to collect rocks or soil from asteroids' surface, lunar craters, etc.
In the Hayabusa mission, for example, the method to discharge a bullet on the asteroid surface and collect blown-away soils was adopted.


Probe Robot

This is robot to conduct survey or take images by moving on surface of asteroids, etc.
It can move efficiently even on small gravity bodies such as asteroid.


Entry/Reentry Capsule

In order to bring back samples such as soil collected on asteroids, etc., we need to store them into a capsule and, then, have the capsule reentered into the earth atmosphere to retrieve.
Capsule is fabricated so as not to burn out when entering into the atmosphere, unlike falling stars. The same technology is employed to capsule that enters planets' atmosphere to conduct research.


Facilities Used for Ground Testing for Space Exploration, Acceptance, and Operation

We will establish and develop facilities that are used for pre-ground testing for space exploration missions, accepting samples, manipulating rovers and robots.

Research and Development of Specific Bus

We are engaged in development of bus systems, algorithms and equipment dedicated to conducting space explorations. Some examples are introduced below.


Feature extraction result

Research on Image Navigation Guidance

To land safely and precisely on the surface of the Moon or planets requires safety confirmation on around landing site and highly-accurate guidance to the landing point. To this end, we are conducting research on navigation guidance based on image information.


Signal processing system of landing radar

R&D on Radiowave Altimeter and Speedmeter

When landing on the Moon or planets, relative position and velocity to their surface must be provided. We are engaged in R&D of sensors to detect altitude and velocity using radiowave.


Prototype of fuel cell used on lunar surface

R&D on Fuel Cell

In order to spend at night on the Moon, we are researching fuel cell that can generate power by using cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen.


Test sample of electronics used for lunar surface environmental test

Research on Adaptation to Lunar Environment

We are researching electronics used for lunar lander, which are tolerable for severe temperature environment on the lunar surface from +100℃ to -180℃.

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