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Space School Sagamihara, A Great Success

Space School Sagamihara was held Saturday, January 25, 2003, at the Sagamihara City Industrial Hall. To my delight, the event attracted 615 participants - with more children than in previous years.

In the first period titled “Let’s go and see your Star Prince,” Mr. Shujiro Sawai outlined the MUSES-C project and Ms. Akemi Kurotani gave a lecture on space and life. The question-and-answer session started with a 74-year-old gentleman who aroused laughter from the audience by admitting, “I wasn’t interested in coming here. I’m here just because I live in this neighborhood. I thought I might come and find something helpful to this dreamless world”. There were relevant questions such as: “How will you analyze samples that MUSES-C brings back, and what can we learn from them?” and “Are the two types of amino acid identical in appearance?”


“Rockets in the near future” by Mr. Yoshihiro Naruo and “The charm of micro-satellite” by Mr. Akira Onishi featured in the second period, which was lively with questions like “When will space travel become available to ordinary people?” and rather advanced questions like “What mounting technology is used in micro-satellite?”

In the third period, Mr. Tomohiro Nakazawa presented “Black holes shine in X-rays”, and Mr. Takehiko Wada talked about “Astronomy through a space telescope.” Usually in astronomy class, 90% of the questions are about the black holes. However, as Mr. Wada prepared a new weapon, an infrared camera, to attract the audience, many questions about infrared astronomy also arose this year. To me, his demonstration was a simple but helpful idea for Space School.

After the event was over, I started for home, remembering the support that people of Sagamihara had always given us, and hoping that such a relationship would last long even after the integration of aerospace organizations in Japan.

February 24, 2003