Message from the President March.2022

Expectation for Space Development

The United Nations Information Centres estimates that the global population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. It was 7.7 billion in 2019. The global population has continued to increase. The depletion of resources globally is expected to continue. We use many different resources from the ground, sea, and air. We must not waste the limited global resources and ensure they are preserved for future generations.

This leads to a growing expectation that space will be developed. According to research by the Japanese Cabinet Office, the current market size of the domestic space industry is 1.2 trillion yen and the government's target is to double this figure during the 2030s. Globally, the industry’s market size was 40 trillion yen in 2020 and it is projected to reach 160 trillion yen by 2040, which is an enormous figure (source: Morgan Stanley).

In my view, space development has two goals.
They are:
(1) Solving problems for humankind to sustain their lives on the Earth; and
(2) Utilizing outer space for people's activities and lives.

Satellite-based GPS (Global Positioning System), EOIS (Earth Observation Data and Information System) and other results of space development are already a part of the infrastructure that supports our lives. Demonstration experiments are also conducted for the application of technologies developed for space in the autonomous operation of automobiles, drones, agricultural machinery, ships and other vehicles. Also, in terms of resource development, the exploration of water, minerals and other resources on the moon, Mars and asteroids is steadily advancing.

Concerning (2) above, in 2021 the first-ever space travel by a private enterprise occurred, making it the first year of space tourism. It is expected that, in the future, many companies will take part in the development of space tourism and other services in outer space.

Regarding the evolution of technologies for space development, the ion engine electric propulsion system, which was used for the asteroid probes Hayabusa and Hayabusa 2, represents a technological development that is indispensable for deep space exploration and its stalwart reliability has been proved to the whole world. The ion engines can operate in a vacuum only. It is hard to use them on Earth. Nevertheless, being involved in the development of technologies suitable for an unusual environment like outer space is very interesting to engineers.

This means more opportunities for engineers to develop technologies. So I want our engineers to create added value with novel ideas from their experiences in the fusion between existing and emerging technologies and the development of technologies across different industries.

Every technological development absolutely leads to the achievement of sustainable society. I want our engineers to renew their understanding about how they can contribute to society through their jobs, and to be proud.

March, 2022