The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed to cooperate on the launch and data exchange for the two JAXA CubeSats on July 2, 2021. Dr. KUNINAKA Hitoshi, Vice President of JAXA/Director General of Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and Ms. Karen Feldstein, Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations of NASA signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
On Artemis I, NASA plans to demonstrate its new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the first time and send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft into deep space. NASA also plans to take advantage of additional available mass and volume to provide the opportunity to send small satellites, called CubeSats, into space to conduct experiments for future exploration. JAXA's EQUULEUS (EQUilibriUm Lunar-Earth point 6U Spacecraft) and OMOTENASHI (Outstanding Moon exploration TEchnologies demonstrated by NAno Semi-Hard Impactor) are two of the CubeSats that are planned to launch as part of the Artemis I mission.
EQUULEUS will fly to the Second Lagrange Point (L2) of the Earth-Moon system and conduct science missions regarding the Earth's plasmasphere. OMOTENASHI will demonstrate the feasibility of ultra-small spacecraft landing technology and monitor radiation in the lunar vicinity.
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