Dr. YAMAKAWA Hiroshi, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Dr. Jan Wörner, Director-General of European Space Agency (ESA), took part in an online bilateral meeting on February 4, 2021.
The status of cooperative activities between the two agencies was confirmed, including that for Earth Observation, Space Science and Space Exploration.
Dr. Yamakawa also agreed to promote the JAXA-ESA relationship further with Dr. Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation and DG-elect of ESA.
Taking the opportunity of this bilateral meeting, two agreements concerning the cooperation on Hera, an ESA-led mission, and MMX, a JAXA-led mission, were concluded.
Hera is an ESA-led international planetary defense mission to carry out observations of NASA's DART mission's impact on the binary asteroid Didymos. Under this agreement, JAXA contributes to the mission by providing the thermal infrared camera and science collaboration. See below for the detail of the Hera mission.
> Hera (ESA Website)
MMX is JAXA's exploration mission, which plans to collect a sample from the Martian moon, Phobos, to bring back to Earth.
The above agreement paves the way for ESA to provide JAXA with onboard communication components for the probe and assist in satellite tracking control. ESA's contribution through science cooperation is also within the agreement scope. See below for the detail of the MMX mission.
> MMX (JAXA ISAS Website)