Space BD, a Japanese space startup that provides access to space, has been selected by Japan’s space agency JAXA as an exclusive service provider for nanosatellite deployment from the first HTV-X, Japan’s next-generation ISS resupply vehicle. This follows its partnerships with JAXA to facilitate similar deployments from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, as well as rideshares on Japan’s upcoming launch vehicle H3, whose maiden launch is slated to take place in 2021.
HTV-X will be equipped with a new nanosatellite deployment technology that enables flexible deployment, so satellites can be released from an altitude higher that that of the ISS. Space BD and JAXA believe this will open up new demands for nanosallite launches.
Space BD’s new partnership with JAXA will see the startup collaborating in deeper ways, with Space BD contributing to the development of the satellite development system. Together, Space BD and JAXA will collaboratively design the specification of a new deployer and the process of the satellite deployment.
Japan’s new resupply vehicle HTV-X is expected to acquire new automatic docking and other technologies to aim for being a resupply vehicle to lunar gateway, the first human outpost near the Moon. With the satellite deployment capability, HTV-X is expected to be used for missions such as deploying satellites from lunar orbit with an eye on international space exploration.
For these three years since its establishment, Space BD has been selected as the official service provider for the nanosatellite deployment service from ISS Kibo, the utilization of the external platform of the ISS, and the piggyback satellite launch opportunities using H-IIA and H3 launch vehicle.
Said Masa Nagasaki, Co-Founder & CEO at Space BD, “We will do our utmost to ensure the success of this satellite deployment mission using the first HTV-X by taking advantage of our business development and engineering capabilities that have been cultivated in satellite launch services and ISS utilization services. We consider HTV-X to be one of Japan’s proudest space assets with great potential as a platform for establishing an economic sphere in low Earth Orbit and as a testbed to support deep space exploration. We will use this selection as an opportunity to move forward with initiatives to maximize the value of HTV-X based on our ideas and commitment as a venture company.”