NASDA is an acronym
for National Space Development Agency, Japan
's space agency. It was founded in 1969 and is now headquartered in Tokyo
. Its main launch site
is on Tanegashima
, an island just off the southern coast of Kyushu
Prefecture. Tracking center
s are located at Katsuura
, and Okinawa
, and main research facilities at the Science City of Tsukuba
. Much of their research and development is performed by the University of Tsukuba
Along with NASA, ESA, and RKA, NASDA is one of the world's most prominent developers and operators of launch vehicles, having developed and launched the H-I, H-II, HOPE-X, J-1, N-I, N-II, and TR-IA rockets.
NASDA will also operate the Kibo experiment module on the International Space Station, to be launched in four stages between 2004 and 2006.