Space education has long been a part of the Japanese space program's mission. The early years were marked by the Public Affairs Department's efforts to increase general awareness of space and gain the public's understanding of how society could benefit from space-related activities.
One team involved in this outreach specialized in working with children and young people, using compelling, space-related educational materials to connect science to everyday life; the hope was that a greater interest in science would positively influence their intellectual growth. With the creation of JAXA in October 2003, it was increasingly recognized that education is fundamentally distinct from public relations. Combined with the foundation already laid by the student outreach team, this led to the establishment of the Space Education Center on May 1, 2005, by executive order of the then-president of JAXA. Since then, the Center has been a vibrant presence on JAXA's Sagamihara Campus.