A small satellite, Maido No. 1 (SOHLA-1), was successfully launched into space. The satellite was developed by assembling outstanding technologies from a variety of small factories in Osaka.
Maido No. 1 (SOHLA-1) was developed by Astro Technology SOHLA, in cooperation with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and several universities. Astro Technology SOHLA is an association established by small and medium-size companies in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. Selected by JAXA as one of the satellites to be carried by the H-IIA rocket, Maido No. 1 was launched in January 2009.
Higashi-Osaka is known as a “city of manufacturing.” The variety of small and medium-size manufacturing companies is so wide in Higashi-Osaka that the city is dubbed “a city that produces anything from toothbrushes to rocket components.” The city is the home to many companies possessing world-leading technologies, serving as an important pillar of Japan’s manufacturing industry.
In 2001 a project was started in the city to create a satellite by assembling outstanding technologies of local companies. Amid the prolonged recession, the aging of engineers, and the increasing lack of able successors, engineers stood up to revitalize the local economy and to pass on their manufacturing technologies to future generations.
It was by no means easy for the engineers to advance the satellite development project while going on with their main business activities. Many obstacles arose such as how to raise a large amount of development funds. In their unwavering efforts to overcome such obstacles, they succeeded in having the project selected as a commissioned project of NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). Construction of Maido No. 1 was completed in March 2008.
Astro Technology SOHLA website http://www.sohla.com/