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Front Entrance to ISAS
Entrance to the ISAS Sagamihara campus

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japanese: 宇宙科学研究所 Hepburn: Uchū kagaku kenkyūjo) or ISAS, is a Japanese national research organization. ISAS studies astrophysics using rockets and satellites. ISAS is part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).


The ISAS began at the University of Tokyo in the 1955.

In 1994, Japan launched its first large rocket built solely with its own technology. According to Shigebumi Saito, former head of Japan's Space Activities Commission, "If we have no vehicle, it is like a navy without ships,"

ISAS was merged with two other space agencies in 2003 when JAXA was established.

List of Satellites by ISAS

Before establishment of JAXA

Launch date Name before launch Name after launch Mission
February 11, 1970 Ōsumi Technology demonstration
February 16, 1971 MS-T1 Tansei Technology demonstration
September 28, 1971 MS-F2 Shinsei Ionosphere / cosmic-ray / solar-radio observation
August 19, 1972 REXS Denpa Ionosphere / magnetosphere observation
February 16, 1974 MS-T2 Tansei 2 Technology experiment
February 24, 1975 SRATS Taiyo Thermosphere and sun
February 19, 1977 MS-T3 Tansei 3 Technology experiment
February 4, 1978 EXOS-A Kyokko Aurora and ionosphere
September 16, 1978 EXOS-B Jikiken Magnetosphere and thermosphere observation
February 21, 1979 CORSA-b Hakucho X-ray astronomy
February 17, 1980 MS-T4 Tansei 4 Technology experiment
February 21, 1981 ASTRO-A Hinotori Solar X-ray observation
February 20, 1983 ASTRO-B Tenma X-ray astronomy
February 14, 1984 EXOS-C Ohzora Mesosphere observation
January 8, 1985 MS-T5 Sakigake Technology experiment / Comet observation
August 19, 1985 PLANET-A Suisei Comet observation
August 19, 1987 ASTRO-C Ginga X-ray astronomy
February 22, 1989 EXOS-D Akebono Aurora observation
January 24, 1990 MUSES-A Hiten Interplanetary technology experiment
August 30, 1991 SOLAR-A Yohkoh Solar X-ray observation (with NASA / UK)
July 24, 1992 GEOTAIL GEOTAIL Magnetosphere observation (with NASA)
February 20, 1993 ASTRO-D ASCA X-ray astronomy (with NASA)
March 18, 1995 SFU SFU Multi-purpose experiment flyer (with NASDA / NEDO / USEF)
February 12, 1997 MUSES-B HALCA Space VLBI technology development
July 4, 1998 PLANET-B Nozomi Mars atmosphere observation
May 9, 2003 MUSES-C Hayabusa Planetary sample return technology development

After establishment of JAXA

Launch date Name before launch Name after launch Mission
July 10, 2005 ASTRO-EII Suzaku X-ray astronomy
February 21, 2006 ASTRO-F Akari Infrared astronomy
September 22, 2006 SOLAR-B Hinode Solar observation
September 13, 2007 SELENE Kaguya Lunar probe
May 20, 2010 PLANET-C Akatsuki Venus atmosphere observation

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