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Jul. 10, 2018 Updated
Participation of JAXA President in UNISPACE+50

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) organized UNISPACE+50 from June 18th to 21st, 2018 in Vienna International Center, Austria to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of UNISPACE I (Reference 1). More than 70 countries and organizations, and participants from ministerial level (14 participants) and heads of agencies (10 participants) participated in the conference. Ambassador Kitano, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna represented the Japanese delegation. Dr. Yamakawa, JAXA President, also participated in the conference.

During the high-level segment of UNISPACE+50, Dr. Yamakawa represented Japan and made a statement regarding Japan's recent space activities. He also delivered a speech during the Heads of Agencies Panel, and introduced JAXA's contributions to SDGs. He had meetings with various space agencies and signed two agreements—agreement regarding the extension of KiboCUBE cooperation programme with UNOOSA, and an implementation agreement concerning cooperation on validations, improvement, and applications of rainfall products using satellite images and ground measurements with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). (Reference 2,3)

Jul. 6, 2018 Updated
JAXA’s ALWIN Earned President’s Award of the Japan Aeronautical Engineers Association

ALWIN, Airport Low-level Wind Information was prized with the President's award of the Japan Aeronautical Engineers Association. Since last April, the award-winning technology, co-developed by JAXA and Japan Meteorological Agency, has been in operation at Haneda and Narita International airports.

ALWIN accurately measures low level wind direction, speed, wind shear, turbulence, and associated data along approach and departure paths and provides visual alerts to pilots and other aviation staffers in text and image. The system improves safety in aircraft arrivals and takeoffs and helps reduce delays. Evaluated positively by airliners, ALWIN is in use right at the heart of the air traffic services.

Development is underway of SLOWIN, SOdar-based Low-level Wind Information, a less costly counterpart of ALWIN. Testing has been conducted since last year at local airports to validate this new system.

JAXA’s ALWIN Earned President’s Award of the Japan Aeronautical Engineers Association

Jul. 4, 2018 Updated
Stereo image of asteroid Ryugu by Dr. Brian May

Brian May, the lead guitarist from the British rock band, Queen, has created a stereoscopic image of Ryugu from photographs captured with the ONC-T camera onboard Hayabusa2, so that the asteroid can be viewed in three dimensions. Brian May is an astronomer, with a doctoral degree in astrophysics from Imperial College London. He has a strong interest in planetary defense or space guard, which considers the potential threat to the Earth from meteorites. As part of this, May is a core member of "Asteroid Day", that began about three years ago to increase awareness of asteroids and action that can be taken to protect the Earth.

Figure:
Image to be used with red/blue stereo glasses.

Stereo image of asteroid Ryugu by Dr. Brian May

Jun. 29, 2018 Updated
Arrival at Ryugu!

1302 days after the launch from Tanegashima Space Center on December 3, 2014,
Hayabusa2 has fonally arrived at the target asteroid Ryugu. The arrival time was 9:35 am JST on June 27, 2018. From here, we can begin to fully explore Ryugu.

After the end of the ion engine operation on June 3, 2018, Hayabusa2 began the final asteroid approach phase. Optical navigation was used to precisely aim for the asteroid’s location. During the approach, the chemical propulsion thrusters were used to perform nine Trajectory Correction Maneuvers (TCM) to control the velocity of the spacecraft, with a tenth TCM made at the above time for arrival. After the final TCM10, the relative speed between Hayabusa2 and Ryugu was 1 cm/s or less and arrival at the asteroid was declared.

Arrival at Ryugu!

Figure: Group photo commemorating arrival at Ryugu. This is our triumphant pose (known as the "guts pose" / ガッツポーズ in Japanese).

Jun. 25, 2018 Updated
Asteroid Ryugu seen from a distance of around 40km

Hayabusa2 is close to arriving at asteroid Ryugu. After a journey of around 3.2 billion km since launch, our destination is finally near. Two small objects will soon meet in outer space 280 million km from the Earth.

Figure :
Asteroid Ryugu photographed by the ONC-T on June 24, 2018 at around 00:01 JST.
Credit : JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, Aizu University, AIST

Asteroid Ryugu seen from a distance of around 40km

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