On April 20, winged reusable rocket developer SPACE WALKER announced that it has secured funding from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The investment amount remains undisclosed, marking JAXA’s second investment in a private firm.
SPACE WALKER is developing a composite tank as part of its winged reusable rocket project, which aims to reduce airframe weight and apply the technology to commercial applications on Earth, such as liquefied gas tank trucks and hydrogen stations. The company is utilizing JAXA’s research and development results in this endeavor.
Following the April 2021 revision of the Act on the Activation of the Creation of Science, Technology, and Innovation, JAXA now has the ability to invest in companies and provide human and technical assistance. In response to this legal revision, JAXA sought companies interested in investing in research result utilization businesses in April 2022. After screening applicants, the investment decision was made.
The CEO of SPACE WALKER, Akihide Manabe, commented on the funding, expressing his hope that the company will lead the next-generation industry with a stronger public-private team structure, building on Japan’s world-class manufacturing technology cultivated over more than 40 years.