JAXA to set up a two-way streaming studio on the ISS
The Japanese space agency, JAXA, is teaming up with Bascule and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation to set up a studio on the International Space Station (ISS) that will provide two-way live-streaming video feeds starting in 2020. Part of the JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-Creation (J-SPARC) initiative, its purpose is to help promote the commercial development of "space media businesses."
Called "The Space Frontier KIBO," the mini video station will be installed in Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the ISS. The basic set will consist of two tablet terminals, one on either side the module's porthole, where an astronaut will act as cameraman and lighting technician for two-way live streaming of original, interactive programs.
On the technical end, media technology company Bascule is developing new data protocols that will be compatible with the communication restrictions that the ISS works under. The goal is to begin streaming by the middle of next year with a more advanced version of the system coming online in 2021 that will use a new camera developed by SKY Perfect JSAT.
Meanwhile, SKY Perfect JSAT will broadcast and distribute videos from the space station on its BS SKY PerfecTV! Channel, YouTube, SNS, and other platforms. The company will also provide two dozen communication satellites to support the high-definition live streaming in 2022.
"It has been fully 10 years since we completed the assembly of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit," says Koichi Wakata, Vice President, Director General of the Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA. "Since then, Kibo has conducted various missions, including scientific experiments in a microgravity environment and space observations using the external environment of the space station, and achieved various human space technologies. Based on the results acquired until now, today, JAXA not only uses Kibo for research and development, but is also actively advancing efforts to make Kibo accessible by many different players for diverse purposes. The space media business this time, conducted as a collaborative activity at J-SPARC, is a pioneering endeavor since this is a business lead by the private sector based on unprecedented idea. I look forward to this first step in the further expansion that we will likely see in the future in the utilization of Kibo."