It is often said that the existence of the universe enables people to dream. This spring, many people started a new life. Some students started high school or university, and many young people graduated from university and became full-fledged members of society, with a strong determination to achieve their hopes of being involved in projects related to the dream-inspiring universe.
Something else happened this spring as well: a network was born of people determined to take an active part in space-related fields. This is not just a network of colleagues within their own workplace or school; it is a nationwide organization that connects its members with like-minded people elsewhere and allows them to initiate activities by sharing information. It is unique because it involves people all over Japan - from Hokkaido to Kyushu - whose specialties vary widely, from art, economics, law, politics and education, to engineering, science and medicine. It is also worthwhile to mention that there are no generational boundaries in this network; its membership ranges from high-school students to full-fledged members of society.
The SPACE Development Forum (SDF) executive committee is a student organization founded in November 2002. The SDF has been playing an important role in the expansion of this network of space enthusiasts. In July 2003, for instance, we hosted an SDF meeting that was sponsored by JAXA.
Major activities of the SDF fall into three categories.