JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference December 2014

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 18 (Thu.), 2014
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

The Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" was launched by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 at 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec. 3 (Thu.), 2014, following a three-day delay from the original launch date. The Hayabusa2 is currently flying smoothly while it is under the initial functional confirmation.

Many people watched the Hayabusa2 launch, and we would like to express our appreciation for the support and cooperation from the media.

We will announce the flight status, location and other information about the Hayabusa2 on its special launch website in order for people to feel familiar with its journey. The information will be updated about once a week. We will also timely dispatch some major events such as the end of the initial functional confirmation, which is currently underway for about three months, and the result of the Earth swing-by through press releases and other means. We also plan to hold an explanatory session for the media for some major events that are scientifically and technically significant or critical before such an event takes place. The dates and time for such a session will be announced by the Public Affairs Dept., but, under our current schedule, we are thinking of holding the first meeting in March when the initial functional confirmation is completed.

Associate Professor Chisato Ikuta of the ISAS, whom I will introduce to you later, is expected to play a key role as a PR person in the science and research field. I hope she will also actively engage in PR activities for the Hayabusa2.

The 21st session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-21) was held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and the Tokyo International Exchange Center for four days between Dec. 2 (Wed.) and 5 (Sat.), 2014, and a record number of 580 people participated in the session. We had active discussions on the issue of creating more regional cooperation through collaboration of space agencies, development and support organizations as well as local organizations. We also set up a meeting to exchange opinions on space exploration for the first time, and active participation in the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) was called for from the Asia and Pacific region. In addition, at the end of the session, we announced the joint statement "Toward the Advancement of Activities in Exploration and Utilization of Outer Space for a Better Future of People on Earth"

SpaceX CRS-5 is scheduled to be launched on Dec. 20 (Sun., JST.) Some JAXA instruments and devices are aboard the SpaceX, and one of them is a micro satellite provided by the Brazilian Space Agency through the paid service of the small satellites deployment from the Kibo.

From 0:00 thru 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 19 (Fri., JST), the press conference on the upcoming one-year expedition on the International Space Station (ISS) will be held at the UNESCO HQs in Paris. Astronaut Noguchi of Japan will attend the conference in addition to the American Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who will stay at the ISS for about one year from March 2015 as crewmembers of the ISS Expedition 43/44/45/46. Astronaut Noguchi will introduce Japan’s ISS activities.

Astronaut Kimiya Yui of Japan, who will stay at the ISS as an Expedition 44/45 crewmember will be there with the one-year crewmembers.
The one-year stay mission at the ISS aims at acquiring knowledge on the impact of long space stay on astronauts for future manned space exploration missions. JAXA would like to cooperate in space medicine research by the American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut sharing our learned space medicine expertise.

The AKATSUKI research team led by JAXA researchers did not miss the precious opportunity of the AKATSUKI passing behind the Sun’s corona when they looked at the orbiter from the Earth, and observed the flow of plasma from the Sun, or solar wind. To date, it was difficult to observe plasma that exists far away from the Sun, thus its research has not been progressing. Thanks to the AKATSUKI’s observations, we can acquire knowledge to elucidate a solar wind acceleration mechanism for the first time. As we have already announced, we will provide an opportunity to explain more about this achievement from 1:30 p.m. today in conjunction with its publication on "The Astrophysical Journal." Your participation will be very much welcomed.