Q. What kind of research would you like to conduct in the future?
I think I'll continue the development of nanosatellites that weigh 10 kg or less. I'd like to find out how much they can contribute to space development and how suitable they are to practical missions. My objective is to figure out how 10 kg satellites can carry out missions that are conventionally believed possible only with large-scale satellites. To be more precise, I'd like to develop different methods or technologies for nanosatellites than for large satellites. I'm also interested in studying Artificial Intelligence using small satellites. I'm really looking forward to trying a lot of experiments that would be too expensive or too risky to conduct with large satellites. I believe in demonstrating the significance of satellite experiments in space, and I am convinced that technologies developed this way will be appreciated not only for space development but also for advances in information processing.
At the same time, I'm eager to build a community for satellite users. I'm sure that people will soon start using small satellites for commercial purposes. In fact, since we launched the two CubeSat XI satellites, we've been receiving many inquires from people who want us to launch satellites for their business. The cost of a small satellite is similar to a corporate advertising budget, so I assume that small satellites are appealing to enterprises that have ambitions to do something in space. I'd like to make satellites that meet their needs, and I think this will establish a new community of makers and users, who will help space development grow further.
Q. How do you want to utilize space?
Recently, space travel has become a hot topic. I think that it's a big breakthrough as a new type of use for space, but there are still too few other ideas out there. Having said that, it's not easy for us, who have been professionally involved in the area of space, to come up with fresh ideas. Instead of experts thinking about the use of space, we need to involve more people with different perspectives. A novel idea might emerge that influences future directions. The key is to get as many people as possible interested in space activities, and for us to make them believe in the possibility. In short, my interest is not in thinking about how to utilize space, but how to increase the number of people with interest in the use of space. And I'd like to continue nanosatellite research and development for that reason.