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To Infinity and Beyond: The Future of US-Japan Space Technology Cooperation

December 8, 2020 @ 4:00 pm


Just over 50 years ago in the same month that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the US and Japan signed an agreement to begin cooperating on space policy.  Over the past five decades the US-Japan relationship in space technology has evolved from one-sided dependence to commercial competition to close collaboration and partnership.  Nurtured by NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley has long been a hub of space-related innovation, first spearheaded by large defense contractors and now characterized by a host of innovative start-ups.  Japan has seen a similar shift as an increasing number of start-ups complement the work that large Japanese corporations are doing in developing commercializing space technology


Please join us for a conversation with Michael Fletcher, who recently retired from NASA Ames, Hiroshi Nakayama, Associate Senior Administrator at JAXA and Ron Lopez, President of Astroscale, US, a Japanese space start-up, to discuss these changes and implications for future US-Japan space technology cooperation.  What are some of the most important technologies in both countries that would benefit from more collaboration?  What are the main opportunities and challenges to deepening that relationship?  What are the implications for cooperation now that start-ups in both the US and Japan are playing a larger role?  What steps should governments and businesses take to strengthen our space cooperation?  Please join us for this cutting-edge program.


ニール・アームストロングが月面着陸した50年前の同じ月、日本とアメリカは、宇宙技術の協力に署名しました。それから50年… パートナーシップはますます強化されています。長年宇宙関連のイノベーションのハブであり続けるシリコンバレーのNASAエイムズ研究所では、現在多くの革新的なスタートアップ(新興企業)が存在しています。日米宇宙技術協力。その関係を強化するための主な機会と課題は何でしょうか?日米のスタートアップがより大きな役割を果たしている今、協力にはどのような影響があるでしょうか?政府や企業はどのような措置を講じるべきですか?日米宇宙技術協力について日米のエクスパートが語ります。(同時通訳付)


Date and Time:

December 8, 2020 @ 4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

December 9, 2020 @ 9:00 AM (Japan Time)


4:00-4:05 Welcome remarks Larry Greenwood | Member of the Board, Japan Society of Northern California
4:05-4:10 Scene setter and introduction of two speakers Ron Lopez | President and Managing Director, Astroscale U.S., Inc.
4:10-4:20 Opening comments Hiroshi Nakayama | Associate Senior Administrator, JAXA Business Development and Industrial Relations Department
4:20-4:30 Opening comments Michael Fletcher | MJF Consulting
4:30-4:55 Moderated discussion led by Ron Lopez
4:55-5:15 Audience Q&A
5:15-5:20 Closing Takahide Akiyama | President, Japan Society of Northern California


Price: FREE!

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Our Amazing Speakers:


Michael Fletcher | MJF Consulting

Michael Fletcher spent over 30 years at NASA Ames Research Center and retired in October 2020 as the Technical Advisor to Partnerships after holding positions as a researcher, project manager, systems engineer and chief engineer.  Mr. Fletcher is a former Mansfield Fellow and spent a year in Tokyo from 2016-2017 working at MEXT, CAO, MOD and JAXA on topics of space and aeronautics policy.  After his retirement, Mr. Fletcher created MJF Consulting, which offers services to assist companies in the US and Japan working in the space sector.


Hiroshi Nakayama

Hiroshi Nakayama | Associate Senior Administrator, JAXA Business Development and Industrial Relations Department

Hiroshi Nakayama is an Associate Senior Administrator in the JAXA Business Development and Industrial Relations Department. His main role is to support Japanese SMEs and start-ups entering the global space market. Prior to his current position, Hiroshi worked for ten years as a mission planner for satellite programs and also as a ground facility designer for Tanegashima Space Center. Building on his successful experience in advising various commercial players through his past positions, he has been working with both domestic and foreign enterprises to encourage international partnerships and supporting them through JAXA’s commercial programs.


Ron Lopez

Ron Lopez | President and Managing Director, Astroscale U.S., Inc.

Ron joined Astroscale as Managing Director in April 2019 to lead the company’s business operations in the United States. Ron started his career as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force Space Command’s Space Control Division. He then joined Boeing and worked on various programs within Boeing Research & Technology and Phantom Works and led business development activities for the Network & Space Systems division throughout the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining Astroscale, Ron led the Defense & Space Asia Pacific sales team at Honeywell Aerospace. Over half of Ron’s career has been spent working and living in Japan, and he is an active member of The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation’s U.S.-Japan Space Forum. Ron earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The United States Air Force Academy in 1993.


Generously supported by the National Association of Japan America Societies



This event is a part of our Innovation Salon


December 8, 2020
4:00 pm
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