The history of ISAS began in 1955 with the Pencil rocket launch experiment by the University of Tokyo. Three years later, the university developed a rocket capable of reaching an altitude of 60 km and joined the international earth observation program (International Geophysical Year: IGY) by observing wind and temperature in the upper atmosphere.
In 1964, the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science (ISAS) was founded in the University of Tokyo. In 1970, Japan's first artificial satellite OHSUMI was launched and put into orbit by an L-4S rocket using solid propellant. Since then, ISAS has cultivated its unique nature wherein its missions are achieved based on concurrent, synergistic efforts of two groups of people: space science staff who research the mysteries of space, and engineering R&D staff working to meet with the needs of space science. This partnership is a characteristic of ISAS.
ISAS is devoted to space science, to the collaboration of scientists and engineers to research and develop solid-propellant rockets and scientific satellites to meet the needs of space science researchers. In 1981, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) was reborn as a joint research organization among Japanese universities. Since the launch of OHSUMI in 1970, ISAS in its various incarnations has launched 27 scientific satellites and solar system explorers. ISAS is now one of the leading centers of excellence in the world of space science.
In the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (founded in 2003 by the merger of ISAS, NASDA and NAL), space science is defined as one of the pillars of its activities. We expect to continue performing vigorous research and making further contributions to scientific progress in the world, by combining the powers of researchers at universities across the country.
|1955||April||The Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, horizontally launched Pencil rocket in Kokubunji, Tokyo.|
|1955||August||The Akita Rocket Range was established at Michikawa Beach, Akita Pref. (where Pencil and Baby rockets were launched).|
|1957-1958||International Geophysical Year (IGY)|
|1958||June||K-6, the two-stage Kappa rocket, reached an altitude of 60km.|
|1960||July||K-8-1, reached an altitude of 190km. World's first measurement of ion density.|
|1961||December||K-9L-2, measurement of electron density and temperature over an altitude of 300km.|
|1962||February||Kagoshima Space Center established.|
|1962||May||Failure of launch K-8-10, last launch at Akita Rocket Range. (A total of 88 rockets were launched.)|
|1962||October||Noshiro Testing Center established.|
|1962||November||Launch of K-9M-1. (A total of 81 rockets were launched from 1962 to 1988.)|
|1963||April||Development of M (Mu) rockets started.|
|1964||April||The Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science was founded in the University of Tokyo.|
|1964||July||L-3-1 of the Lambda rocket series was launched and reached an altitude of 1,000km.|
|1964||July||Launch of Japan's first weather observation rocket MT-135-1. (A total of 73 rockets were launched from 1964 to 2000.)|
|1965||June||Scientific satellite plan presented at the Scientific Satellite Symposium.|
|1965||November||Launch of sounding rocket K-10-1. (A total of 14 rockets were launched from 1965 to 1980.)|
|1966||March||Launch of sounding rocket L-3H-1. (A total of nine rockets were launched from 1966 to 1977.)|
|1966||July||Scientific balloon experiments started at the temporary testing site in Taiyomura, Ibaraki Pref.|
|1966||September||L-4S-1 was launched.
* Satellite was not put into orbit due to the abnormal flight of the 3rd stage caused by the improper separation of the 2nd and 3rd stages.
|1966||December||L-4S-2 was launched.
* Satellite was not put into orbit due to ignition failure of the final stage.
|1967||February||L-3H-3 was launched, reaching an altitude of 2,150km.|
|1967||April||L-4S-3 was launched.
* Satellite was not put into orbit due to ignition failure of the 3rd stage.
|1968||July||Scientific balloon experiment site moved to Haranomachi, Fukushima Pref.|
|1968||September||Launch of sounding rocket S-160-1. (A total of four rockets were launched from 1968 to 1972.)|
|1969||January||Launch of sounding rocket S-300-1. (A total of three rockets were launched in 1969.)|
|1969||August||Launch of sounding rocket S-210-1. (A total of 13 rockets were launched from 1969 to 1982.)|
|1969||September||L-4S-4 was launched.
* Satellite was not put into orbit because the 3rd stage collided with the upper stage.
|1970||February||L-4S-5 was launched, successfully putting Japan's first artificial satellite OHSUMI into orbit. (Japan became the 4th nation to succeed in satellite launch, following USSR, USA and France.)|
|1970||February||Sounding rocket developed by the University of Tokyo started observation at the Showa Station in Antarctica.|
|1970||September||M-4S-1 was launched.
* Satellite was not put into orbit due to sequence malfunction after 4th stage ignition.
|1970||November||Sanriku Balloon Center established.|
|1971||February||M-4S-2 was launched, carrying TANSEI (MS-T1) satellite.|
|1971||July||Meteorological rocket developed by the University of Tokyo started observation at the Meteorological Rocket Observation Station (Ryori, Iwate Pref.) of the Japan Meteorological Agency.|
|1971||September||M-4S-3 was launched, carrying SHINSEI (MS-F2), the first Japanese scientific satellite.|
|1972||August||M-4S-4 was launched, carrying DENPA (REX). It aimed to observe plasma wave, plasma density, etc., in space.|
|1974-1978||Measurement of Crab Nebula's hard X-ray by scientific balloon.|
|1974||February||M-3C-1 was launched, carrying TANSEI-2 (MS-T2).|
|1975||January||Launch of sounding rocket S-310-1.|
|1975||February||M-3C-2 was launched, carrying TAIYO (SRATS). It aimed to observe soft X-ray and ultraviolet radiation from the sun, etc.|
|1975||October||The Science Council, the Ministry of Education, submitted a report on "Promotion of Space Science."|
|1976||February||M-3C-3 was launched, carrying CORSA satellite.
* The satellite was not put into orbit due to control system failure.
|1977||February||SEPAC scientific experiment project using the Space Shuttle and Spacelab-1 started.|
|1977||February||M-3H-1 was launched, carrying TANSEI-3 (MS-T3).|
|1977||July||Static firing test of liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine started at Noshiro Testing Center.|
|1978||February||M-3H-2 was launched, carrying KYOKKO (EXOS-A).|
|1978||September||M-3H-3 was launched JIKIKEN (EXOS-B).|
|1979||February||M-3C-4 was launched, carrying X-ray astronomy satellite HAKUCHO (CORSA-b).|
|1979||April||Space Science and Technological Information Analysis Center established.|
|1980||January||Launch of sounding rocket S-520-1.|
|1980||February||M-3S-1 was launched, carrying TANSEI-4 (MS-T4).|
|1980||April||Research and preparatory committee formed in the University of Tokyo to create a "central laboratory for space science."|
|1981||February||M-3S-2 was launched, carrying HINOTORI (ASTRO-A).|
|1981||April||The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science founded.|
|1983||February||M-3S-3 was launched, carrying TENMA (ASTRO-B), X-ray astronomy satellite.|
|1983||November||SEPAC experiment conducted.|
|1984||February||M-3S-4 succeeded in launching OHZORA (EXOS-C).|
|1984||October||Usuda Deep Space Center established.|
|1985||January||M-3SII-1 succeeded in launching Japan's first interplanetary explorer SAKIGAKE(MS-T5).|
|1985||August||M-3SII-2 succeeded in launching SUISEI (PLANET-A) to study Halley's Comet.|
|1987||February||M-3SII-3 succeeded in launching X-ray astronomy satellite GINGA (ASTRO-C).|
|1987||May||Space Utilization Research Center founded.|
|1989||February||Aurora observation satellite AKEBONO (EXOS-D) launched with M-3SII-4.|
|1989||April||The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science moved from Tokyo to Sagamihara city, Kanagawa Pref.|
|1990||January||M-3SII-5 launched engineering testing satellite HITEN (MUSES-A).|
|1991||August||M-3SII-6 launched solar observation satellite YOHKOH (SOLAR-A).|
|1992||July||Launch of GEOTAIL, a satellite to observe the magnetospheric tail.|
|1993||February||M-3SII-7 launched X-ray astronomy satellite ASCA (ASTRO-D).|
|1993||April||The Center for Planning and Information Systems established (converted from Space Science and Technological Information Analysis Center).|
|1995||January||M-3SII-8 launched EXPRESS satellite.
* Because of 2nd stage failure, the satellite could not reach its planned orbit and fell to the earth in its third rotation. It was found in Africa 10 months later and provided helpful data for reentry test.
|1995||March||Launch of Space Flyer Unit (SFU) and Geostationary Meteorological Satellite-5 Himawari-5 by H-II launch vehicle No.3.|
|1995||April||Center for Advanced Spacecraft Technology established.|
|1996||January||The SFU was retrieved by the Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-72).|
|1997||February||Radio Astronomy Satellite HALCA (MUSES-B) was launched by M-V-1.|
|1998||January||Launch of sounding rocket SS-520-1.|
|1998||July||Mars Orbiter NOZOMI (PLANET-B) was launched by M-V-3.|
|1999||May||Super Pressure Balloon experiment.|
|2000||February||X-ray astronomy satellite (ASTRO-E) was launched by M-V-4.
* The launcher could not put the satellite into orbit because of the lack of final velocity due to 1st stage nozzle failure.
|2001||January||Placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology following a reorganization of government ministries.|
|2002||February||DASH (Demonstrator of Atmospheric Reentry System with Hyper Velocity) was launched by H-IIA launch vehicle No. 2.
* DASH could not reach its planned orbit because of failure of separation from the payload mount.
|2002||May||Ultra-thin film high altitude balloon marked the world's highest record of an altitude of 53km.|
|Asteroid sample-return spacecraft HAYABUSA (MUSES-C) was launched by M-V-5.|
|2003||October||Establishment of an Independent Administrative Agency, the "Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)", merging three aerospace organizations, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan.|
|2003||December||Mars orbiter NOZOMI gave up its injection into orbit around Mars.
* NOZOMI could not reach its planned orbit because of control engine trouble.
|2005||July||X-ray astronomy satellite SUZAKU (ASTRO-EII) was launched by M-V-6.|
|2005||August||Launch of the Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite Kirari (OICETS) and Innovative Technology Demonstration Experiment small sattelite REIMEI (INDEX) by the Russian launch vehicle Dnepr.|
|2005||September||Successful arrival and observation on the asteroid Itokawa by the asteroid explorer HAYABUSA.|
|2006||February||Infrared astronomy satellite AKARI (ASTRO-F) was launched by M-V-8.|
|2006||September||Solar physics satellite HINODE (SOLAR-B) was launched by M-V-7.|
|2007||September||Lunar explorer KAGUYA (SELENE) was launched by H-IIA-13.|
|2010||May||Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI (PLANET-C) was launched by H-IIA-17.|
|2010||June||Asteroid explorer HAYABUSA came back to the Earth , capsule recovered.|