Travel and Lifestyle

What is Inside Tsukuba Space Center?

What is Inside Tsukuba Space Center?

Never have I visited planetarium nor touching telescope before, yet reading the astronomy books has brought my imagination wildly to wander the outer space.

JAXA Space Center

While USA is famous with space agency called NASA, Japan also owns an aerospace agency which is pretty cool too!
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). It was designated as a core performance agency to support the Japanese government’s overall aerospace development and utilization. JAXA, therefore, can conduct integrated operations from basic research and development, to utilization.

JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC), located in Tsukuba Science City, opened its doors in 1972. The TKSC, which sits on a 530,000 square-meter site, with beautiful natural surroundings, is a consolidated operations facility with world-class equipment and testing facilities.

Awesome Jobs They Do

JAXA performs the following among our various activities to be promoted at the TKSC to fulfil its role as a core organization for Japan’s space development.

  • Development and operation of satellites, which are eyes from space, and analysis of acquired observation data (images).
  • Space environment utilization using the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the International Space Station, providing astronaut training, and promoting manned space activities.
  • Development of launch vehicles and other space transportation systems and technological research promotion.

Not only Space Exploration Mission

“Space Dome” is an exhibition hall where you can feel and experience genuine space development by looking at test models of various satellites, rocket engines used in firing tests, and a full-scale model of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo.

Dream Port

Here, you are greeted by a beautiful 1:1,000,000 scale model of the Earth.

Utilization for Earth and Environment Observation

Introducing the purpose and result of each project mainly through the display of test model satellites (nearly identical to the actual satellite).

Satellites Opening up the Future

Introducing recently launched satellites, and those attracting lots of attention.

Human Space Activities / Space Environment Utilization

Introducing space environment utilization mainly through the display of a full-scale model of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and a test model of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) “KOUNOTORI” a cargo transporter to the ISS.

Space Transportation Systems

You can enjoy a display of the actual LE-7A and LE-5 engines used in firing tests, and learn the history of Japanese launch vehicles through 1:20 scale models.

Space Science and Solar System Exploration

An introduction to space science and lunar and planetary missions through a test model of “KAGUYA” (SELENE) and “HAYABUSA” (MUSES-C).
・Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.(“Space Dome” opens from 9:30)
・Admission is free of charge.
・Closed on Mondays (irregular), New Yearsʼ holidays, and facility maintenance date.

Guided tour information

Guided tour
You can look around part of Japan’s largest space development center with a tour guide. Reservation required.

Tour fee is *500 yen (tax included) per person excluding high school students (including students of specialty schools)
Those who are under 18 years old are free of admission. (High school students are required to show their
school ID cards.)
Tour office Tel: +81-29-868-2023 (from overseas, or 029-868-2023 in Japan)

Rocket Launch

Real H-II Launch Vehicle display

A flight model of the H-II Launch Vehicle, which is about 50 meters in length, is exhibited at the Rocket Plaza near the center’s main gate. The H-II is a 100 percent domestically manufactured launch vehicle that was developed over roughly 10 years, and, at the time it was completed, had world-class launch capability and performance. Japan established its independent technology for large-scale launch vehicles through developing and launching H-IIs. The H-II has been upgraded to become its successors H-IIA and H-IIB with even higher capability and performance.

The environment surrounding the use and development of space is now dramatically changing. JAXA is expected to play a far greater role, not only in pioneering the frontiers of space science, but also in contributing to national security, disaster prevention, and industrial development. The agency has committed to enhancing its existing efforts centering on technology development and tests for broadening the range of the aerospace industry by collaborating with private companies and universities. Our mission is to respond to ever-changing social needs with technologies to open up a new era.

Uncovering new values. For people, nations and the Earth.


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