JAXA Space Conference

JAXA Space Conference

Anita Bernie was one of the panellists at the JAXA Space Symposium.  

The panel discussed a wide range of topics including:

  • The status of exploration: how far have humans come?
  • Benefits of exploration – its significance, value and more
  • Challenges of space exploration
  • What can Japan and JAXA do to support exploration?

Pictured above on the stage left to right are:

Mr. Testsuya Muroyama (Moderator)
Ms. Naoko Yamazaki – Astronaut
Mr. Ted McFarland - Blue Origin
Mrs Anita Bernie - SSTL
Mr. Yoici Ochiai – University of Tsukuba
Mr. Takeshi Hakamada – iSpace
Mr. Hiroshi Yamakawa – President of JAXA

During the panel session, Anita reminded the audience that Japan is one of only a few nations that possesses complete end-to-end capabilities: launch, satellites, and instruments – a laudable achievement.  

She also expressed her view that the best way to achieve space exploration is through global endeavour via collaborations at agency level and at industry level and reminded the audience that until now only agencies and national governments have been active in exploration. Anita then went on to say that she is pleased to see the start of a rapid growth in commercial entities that are developing capabilities that will allow them to provide infrastructure and services that support exploration activities.

Anita quoted a recent Merrill Lynch report which forecasts that the Exploration economy will be worth $2.7trillion by 2045 – driven by services and resource mining. However she made the poin that the market is still very small today, and it is difficult for commercial companies to make a sustainable business so governments need to be prepared to support the industry when it is in its infancy, by being a customer of commercial companies.

When the panel were asked for recommendations Anita suggested that Japan should consider making it easier for international industry to contribute to Japanese missions – there is a win-win in allowing Japnese industry and start ups to leverage existing experience and expertise, and for industries to have the opportunity to participate.

Anita says "Space has a role to play in supporting the United Nations Sustainable development goals (agriculture, disasters, global health, education, environment…..etc – I can supply a list or we can link to unispace+50). When we first started launching satellites we didn’t know that they would enable all of these benefits, and the same will be true for exploration: we will find ways to use the new technologies, capabilities and knowledge for the common good."