Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer

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The Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer (USEF) (財団法人無人宇宙実験システム研究開発機構?) is a Japanese space agency, which was founded by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1986. Unlike NASDA, ISAS, and NAL, it was not included in the JAXA organization, which was founded in 2003. USEF is run as a non-profit organization. The chairperson is Ichiro Taniguchi.

Goal[edit]

The aim of USEF is technology development, especially the testing of commercial off-the-shelf parts (COTS), robotics, material sciences and technology for optical earth observations.

Launch Vehicle[edit]

Unlike the JAXA organisation, USEF doesn't have its own launch vehicle. Instead, it has used either the H-IIA, the M-3S, or Russian rockets, so far. However in 2008, METI mentioned the possibility of USEF developing an air-launched vehicle for small payloads.[1]

Missions[edit]

Express[edit]

The Express[disambiguation needed] is a 745 kg (1,642 lb) satellite for microgravity experiments and testing of re-entry technologies. The project was done in cooperation with ISAS (now JAXA) and DLR of Germany. On January 15, 1995, it was launched on the M-3S. However, due to a problem with the rocket, the orbit was much lower than planned. The re-entry capsule was found later in Ghana.[2]

Servis 1[edit]

Main article: SERVIS-1

The SERVIS-1 is an 840 kg (1,851 lb) technology test mission with COTS parts. It was launched on October 30, 2001 with the Russian Rockot launch vehicle. the mission duration was two years.[3]

USERS[edit]

USERS was launched on the H-IIA on September 10, 2002. The aim of the mission was microgravity experiments to perform the Super-Conductor Material Processing Experiment and also testing of satellite bus technologies. For the first part of the mission, USERS carried a return capsule. It was retrieved successfully on May 29, 2003. The mission of the main orbiter ended during re-entry in 2007.[4]

Servis 2[edit]

Main article: SERVIS-2

SERVIS-2 was a 900 kg (1,984 lb) technology test mission with COTS parts. It will continue the experiments done with the first SERVIS satellite. It was launched on June 2, 2010, 01:59 UTC, with the Russian Rockot launch vehicle.[5][6][7]

Planned Missions[edit]

Asnaro[edit]

Asnaro is a 450 kg (992 lb) earth observation satellite. The planned resolution is less than 0.5 meter (1.6 ft) from an SSO orbit. Launch is planned for 2011. However no launch vehicle is chosen yet.[8]

Servis 3[edit]

Test of COTS parts. Follow-up mission to Servis 1 and 2. Launch is planned for 2013.[9]

Asnaro 2[edit]

Asnaro 2 is small x-band radar satellite for earth observation. Launch is planned for 2013.[10]

Other technology projects[edit]

USEF developed the robotic arm of the ETS-VII project to test docking technology in the 1990s.

References[edit]

External links[edit]