A fundamental study was performed to develop a high efficiency solar heat receiver for a solar energy experiment mission on the Japan experiment module - exposed facility of the international space station. It is composed of a solar heat absorber, thermal energy storage and heat pipes. This system is aimed to transport solar thermal energy to a bottoming system with an efficiency of 80 %. Thermal analysis of each component was performed to assess its design approach. One ground testing model of the solar receiver was designed and fabricated in 1998, and then would be experimentally evaluated in 1999 at a test vacuum chamber of National Aerospace Laboratory.