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Q. How do you think space activities will develop in the future?

There is a lot of potential, but first of all, the transportation costs to low Earth orbit will become much cheaper. Cost has been an obstacle to many ideas, so there will be many positive effects if the transportation costs are reduced.
Next, it'll become possible to conduct direct exploration of the solar system. Human space flight to Mars and Jupiter will become a reality in the near future. However, sadly, physical laws don't allow us to build spaceships to reach Mars or other planets as easily as we can travel overseas today. A nuclear fusion rocket looks like the best prospect, but even that type of rocket will not be able to drastically change the speed of spacecraft. So, for the time being, the spheres of human activity and habitation will be expanded to the Earth's orbit and the Moon.
Finally, the way of humankind, or more precisely, human intelligence or consciousness, might significantly change in the future. For example, humans could expand their activity in space through artificial intelligence, where human brains are transferred to a computer. If such digitization of human consciousness becomes possible, space travel will be much easier, requiring just radio waves, and the concept of space transportation will be completely altered. Unmanned explorers will carry human intelligence without our physically being there.
To sum up, my picture of future space activities is about cost reduction for transportation to low Earth orbit, direct exploration of the solar system, expansion of habitation areas, and the establishment of AI technology. I anticipate that these will become reality in the 21st century.

Q. Finally, could you tell us about your expectations for JAXA?

I'd like to see JAXA play a leading role in Japanese space activity, with a strong vision for Japan's future. Japan is a nation of manufacturing. I'd like to see especially good support and working conditions for engineers and researchers, as well as for domestic human space flight programs.

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