Axelspace Corporation announces that RAPid Innovative payload demonstration Satellite 1 (RAPIS-1), which is an important part of the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), won the 30th (FY2020) The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences (JSASS) Technology Award. Axelspace had been commissioned by JAXA to design, develop and operate RAPIS-1, and the satellite had successfully completed about a year-long in-orbit experiments after the launch.
The JSASS Awards aim to encourage development of the aerospace engineering and the aerospace industry. The Technology Award (Project Category) among others is given to projects which opened new frontiers in development of aerospace engineering and sciences by new technologies invented for some years past, such as a big scale R&D program which requires flight demonstration, and achievement of a mission which requires difficult space flight, and so on. Details of the awards can be found here.
RAPIS-1, launched on January 18, 2019, was the first demonstration mission in JAXA’s Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program. It was designed to carry new components developed by Japanese private companies, universities and research institutes, which allowed them to demonstrate their capabilities in the actual space environment. Axelspace was responsible for the design, manufacturing and in-orbit operation of the satellite. RAPIS-1 successfully completed all the missions in orbit and the operation terminated in June 2020. Details of this project are here.
Figure: Project Emblem of RAPIS-1
“It was such an honor to receive this prestigious award together with JAXA. There was, however, a big challenge for both of us since RAPIS-1 was the very first JAXA satellite developed by a startup company. In order to overcome the ‘culture clash,’ which arose from the gap in between in terms of the methodology of satellite development and manufacturing, we continued discussions tenaciously. As a result, we successfully gained new knowledge on how to ensure high quality while keeping costs low, which led all the in-orbit demonstrations to achieve ‘full success’ rating. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to JAXA and all the project members participating in this technology demonstration mission for their efforts to make this project successful,” commented Yuya Nakamura, the President and CEO of Axelspace.