Aug 4, 2011

What Is Japan Doing Now With Space?

I think of this as a continuation of this article about the dawn of Japanese space exploration, so you might want to read it if you haven't yet.

Decades after Japan's first satellite, it came by a long way.
Last year, the space probe Hayabusa returned a sample of the rock in an asteroid, Itokawa (told you it would come up later! It was named after the scientist.) and brought that back to Earth! It was a first in the history of mankind, to bring back sand from another asteroid. Not only did it complete a nearly impossible task, it also put to use the newly-developed ion engine and tested its capabilities. They're even making movies about Hayabusa, it was really a nationwide sensation.

There is also the HTV(H-2 Transfer Vehicle) launched from Japan with the H-2B rocket, which is an unmanned resupply spacecraft to the ISS. For now, all the HTVs have performed flawlessly in space. (well, not to mention they have launched only 2 of them yet...)

I think JAXA, the space agency in japan, is ready to develop manned capsules. They have most of the technology needed already at hand. I hope Japan will keep its position as one of the leading nations in space exploration for decades, maybe centuries.


  1. Anonymous8/07/2011

    I'm here again. I found something that may concern you, so I desided to post it here. First, go to the Wikipedia(Japanese version) page about the HTV. Then go all the way down to the 脚注(Notes)section. Click number31, and 33. They're both in PDF format, so there shouldn't be any trouble. The two of them (especially number33)contains images of an manned HTV. They're quite amazing, so you should at least take a look. I'll try my best to report about other key information about space exploration in due time.

  2. Hiroki8/08/2011

    Sorry, I made a mistake with my last comment. I translated 脚注 as Notes, but it's supposed to be References instead.