The MoU was signed by Stan Crow, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Japan; Nozomu Sakuraba, director of JAXA Space Education Centre; and Mamoru Endo, executive managing president of YAC.
"I am delighted about signing this agreement with our partners, JAXA and YAC. This partnership, in support of STEM education, will help inspire the next generation of space pioneers," Crow said during the signing ceremony.
Under the terms of the MoU, the three partners will develop space-related education programs in Japan and the US. These programs will encourage students to consider careers in the space industry as they also develop important skills such as teamwork and critical thinking.
Sakuraba added, "Our mission at JAXA is to pursue innovative research and development in the aerospace field for the benefit of people throughout the world. Co-operation with companies such as Northrop Grumman and organisations such as YAC help us realise this mission."
The Young Astronauts program was established in 1984 by US president Ronald Reagan and journalist Jack Anderson, with the goal of using space to encourage students to take a greater interest in maths and science. Reagan also wanted the Young Astronauts to develop friendships with the future space explorers of other countries.
YAC of Japan held an inaugural meeting in August 1986 in Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture and by November, the club was officially established with the approval of the Japanese prime minister. The YAC of Japan became a public interest incorporated foundation in August 2012. Since its establishment, the club has led space education and international exchange activities for youth across Japan.
JAXA was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). It was designated as a core performance agency to support the Japanese government's overall aerospace development and utilisation.
JAXA, therefore, can conduct integrated operations from basic research and development to utilisation. JAXA became a national research and development agency in April 2015, and took a new step forward to achieve optimal R&D achievements for Japan, according to the government's purpose of establishing a national R&D agency.
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