JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) is Japan's unified aerospace agency, formed on October 1, 2003, from the merger of three previously separate organizations: ISAS (the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science), which was devoted to space and planetary research; NASDA (the National Space Development Agency of Japan), which was responsible for developing large-size launch vehicles and satellites; and NAL (the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan), which focused on research and development of next-generation aviation.