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R&D of launch vehicles, satellites and the Japanese Experiment Module to be connected to the Space Station is traced with special emphasis on their tribological problems encountered on the way of space development in Japan. Lubrication, friction and wear of rolling bearings and seals applied to turbopumps of an LE-5, the first LOX/LH_2 engine completed in Japan, are discussed. Performance on orbit of ball bearings supporting the scanning mirrors of the earth sensors launched ill 1981 is introduced including test results of candidate materials used for cages. Compared to conventional rolling bearings, magnetic bearings have the merit of no friction and wear. Results obtained from experiments of the magnetically supported flywheel brought into orbit in 1987 are described. Furthermore several tribological problems tribologists confront in designing the Japanese Experiment Module are refered.