According to The Nikkei Asian Review, Axelspace, which was founded in 2008 and now employs some 30 workers, has a clean room in its office in Tokyo for production of microsatellites, each weighing about 50kg. Although microsatellites cannot functionally compete with big ones, they can be developed and manufactured by a smaller number of people in a shorter period of time. They also cost a hundredth as much.
Axelspace is not a mere maker of microsatellites. It plans to launch 50 Earth-observation satellites by 2022 to gather data on such things as the number of cars on the ground, containers at ports and agricultural crops. It will provide corporate clients with services based on them. These are expected to help businesses grasp economic trends and make more accurate management decisions.
"We want many companies to utilize space data," said Yuya Nakamura, founder and CEO of Axelspace.
Planning to launch three satellites by the end of this year, Axelspace has raised a total of 1.9 billion yen ($US 16.9 million) from Global Brain, a Tokyo-based venture capital company, as well as major trading house Mitsui & Co. and others.
The government's Space Industry Vision 2030 stresses that new businesses will be created in areas fusing space and information technologies. Setting an eye toward a fourth Industrial Revolution, Japan cannot afford to ignore space, which will become the main stage for collection and utilization of data.
If you want to read this article in Japanese, please see the following link:
Subscribe to our English Newsletter