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Visit to JAXA Tsukuba Space Center

On December 1, 2017, IP High Court Chief Judge Misao Shimizu along with other judges and judicial research officials visited the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Tsukuba Space Center. The visit was planned to provide an opportunity to directly observe state-of-the-art technology development efforts, aiming to enhance knowledge and insights on IP issues.
The party was welcomed by JAXA Associate Director General Masahito Nakamichi, and provided with a guided study tour of the site. The study tour started from the exhibition hall, where they were given an overview of the Center and its space development activities (space utilization through artificial satellites, manned space environment utilization, rocket transportation systems, etc.).
The study tour continued into other facilities, such as laboratories and the mission control room. Chief Judge Shimizu and other judges received specific explanations on various topics, including the Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo’s internal camera drone (“Int-Ball”), research and development for space batteries, safety reliability checklists, production methods for solid solution single crystals and the mission control room, and exchanged opinions with the researchers on these themes. In the session, Chief Judge Shimizu and other judges asked questions on drone behavior checking and drone-based experiment processes, related international development, utilization of space environment experiment data, personnel exchange with NASA, and received detailed explanations on each. Additionally, the facility tour provided the party with a close view of real Int-Balls, downsized attitude control modules, space battery verification experiment processes and other current technological efforts, which helped deepen their understanding of the respective technology fields.