NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced a decision to acquire all shares in NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems Ltd. (NTSpace), a joint venture established in partnership with Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) in 2001. Shares are due to be acquired from Toshiba on March 31, 2015.
As one of its core businesses, NEC provides “space solutions” that cover everything from satellite systems and terrestrial satellite operation and control systems, to systems for utilizing satellite data.NTSpace is due to become a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC and change its name to NEC Space Technologies Ltd. on April 1 this year, after which time it will handle design, assembly and testing of sensors and other on-board equipment for satellites and rockets as part of NEC’s space business.
NEC has managed the integration of 69 satellites, dating back to Japan’s first satellite Osumi (launched in 1970). Others include Hayabusa, the asteroid explorer that successfully returned samples from the asteroid Itokawa, and its successor Hayabusa 2, which was launched in December last year.
In addition to its compact satellite assembly plant operating out of Sagamihara (Kanagawa prefecture), NEC also operates a Satellite Integration Center at its premises in Fuchu (Tokyo). It is planning to establish an integrated in-house production system for its NEXTAR Series of standard satellite systems and develop satellite infrastructure in areas such as environmental monitoring, disaster monitoring and positioning. NEC also intends to actively target demand for satellites in countries new to space exploration in Asia and other parts of the world, with the aim of establishing a \100 billion space-related business by fiscal 2020.