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  • Satellite Evolution

Sierra Space provides LEO commercialization platform expertise to Kanematsu Corporation

Sierra Space will participate in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) “Feasibility Study for Sustainable Space Environment Utilization in Low-Earth Orbit.”

Sierra Space will provide LEO commercialization platform expertise to the study, which is led by Kanematsu Corp. and features a team of leading commercial space companies including Baker & McKenzie, Bascule Inc., Blue Origin, Japan Airline Co., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd., MUFG Bank, Ltd. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

The purpose of the study is to assess opportunities for Japan to participate in the future of LEO commercialization after the retirement of the International Space Station (ISS). Sierra Space will evaluate potential use cases for its innovative technologies, including Dream Chaser and Orbital Reef, the first commercial space station to be built in LEO, as a co-equal partnership between lead investors Sierra Space and Blue Origin.

“As a leader in the commercial space industry, Sierra Space has a duty to open up space as a location to live, work, study and create in low-Earth orbit and beyond,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “As we seek to democratize LEO, through Dream Chaser and Orbital Reef, Sierra Space will explore how these innovative technologies can be leveraged by Japan and related Japanese technologies and services. To that end, we have worked with Kanematsu to assemble a team charged with exploring new opportunities for people especially in Japan to help write the next chapter of human history.”

Ryoichi Kidokoro, Senior Executive Officer at Motor Vehicles & Aerospace Division, also said, “Kanematsu is thrilled to engage with Sierra Space on this study to accelerate the post-ISS discussion with JAXA and other Japanese commercial partners. We will work closely with experts in all necessary fields among launch service, cargo & crew transportation, LEO destinations, actual utilization, law and risk/insurance to incubate and commercialize the LEO market in Japan."

Leading the project, Kanematsu Corp. is considering Japan’s entire business model for LEO utilization, and Tokyo Marine will identify challenges and barriers for commercial space activities, including crew transportation services, in terms of risk assessment and insurance.

Japan Airlines will also consider crew transportation in Japan, and Baker & Mackenzie will identify challenges and barriers in LEO destination and crew transportation service in terms of regulations and law. Bascule Inc. will consider the new LEO utilization in the fields of digital communication and entertainment. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will consider the business model of cargo transportation and crew launch. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group will provide insights on business model consultation, documentation and financial advice.

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