The Center for Research and Development Strategy (CRDS) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) conducts studies called G-TeC (Global Technology Comparison), in which it investigates and analyzes various countries and regions, focusing on key areas of science and technology, in order to understand Japan's position and contribute to planning of this country's future research and development strategy. This report summarizes the results of an investigation and analysis of space technology, which is the subject of the present G-TeC. This is the second G-TeC study of space technology, following a previous study published in November 2011
This study/analysis is based on trends in space development in various countries and regions up to the end of December 2013. More than 2 years have passed since the previous study, and there have been considerable changes in space development in the respective countries; for example, Russia, China, and India have all made remarkable progress in the field of GPS, and China's activities in manned space flight and lunar exploration have attracted worldwide attention. In order to investigate and analyze these changes and compare the most recent technologies, a "Committee for Comparative Study on Space Technology in the World" was established. Mr. Shigeru Aoe, who is a former Chairman of the Space Activities Commission (SAC), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and also chaired the previous study commission, was again asked to serve as Chairman. Experts from space development organizations, space industries, and research organizations in the several fields which comprise space technology participated as committee members.
Due to the nature of the subject, some portions of space technology development are defense-related, and defense-related technologies are frequently confidential. Accordingly, I would like to note that this study does not describe defense-related technologies, with the exception of those which were developed assuming common use as consumer technologies and have been publicly disclosed. On the other hand, it would also be difficult to say that the development of consumer technologies has been fully disclosed; thus, there may be inaccuracies and other errors in the descriptions herein. We would be most grateful if readers would point out any factual errors, and we will correct those points in a future revision.