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The Forefront of Space Science


April 2, 2009 updated

Science of Space Weather

High enery particles emitted from the Sun sometimes destroy satellite functions. This hazarding space environment is called ôspace weather.üEForecasting solar or terrestrial storms is crucial to protect satellites and astronauts. This article introduces the mechanisms of space weather variation discovered so far, as well as current efforts on space-weather forecasting.

(ISAS News: December 2008 issue)

February 24, 2009 updated

Real Identity of “Dark Particle Accelerator” To Be Explored by “SUZAKU”

Charged particles (cosmic rays) accelerated to ultra-high energy were discovered about one hundred years ago. But how they are accelerated in the universe is still unsure. Meanwhile, gamma ray telescope (HESS) team in Germany discovered mysterious celestial bodies in 2005. They can be sources of cosmic ray acceleration. Japanese satellite SUZAKU and HESS are now trying to unveil their nature.

(ISAS News: November 2008 issue)

February 16, 2009 updated

Develop a Low Environmental Impact Propellant

In the past, the requirements for solid-rocket and satellite-thruster propellant were “high-performance,” “high-reliability” and “low-cost.” Today, “low environmental impact” has also become very important. To satisfy this requirement, research and development of a world-leading new fuel is now proceeding intensively.

(ISAS News: Octomber 2008 issue)

February 9, 2009 updated

Exploring the Asteroid Itokawa:Subsequent Analysis and Research

The space explorer Hayabusa arrived at the asteroid Itokawa three years ago. Amazing images of Itokawa still remain fresh in our minds. At present, Hayabusa is cruising toward the earth to return in June 2010. Analysis of data retrieved by Hayabusa is under way, contributing to further advance of planetary science.

(ISAS News: September 2008 issue)

Octoberr 22, 2008 updated

Ceramics That Do Not Break Even When Cracked ~ Fiber-Reinforced Ceramics and Carbon Composite Materials

Although ceramics and carbon have excellent properties, such as high resistance to heat and chemicals, their weak point is “brittleness.” JAXA is now studying a variety of ceramics which rarely fracture through brittleness. The final goal is to develop a large, high-performance, fiber-reinforced ceramic combustion chamber, whose actual application is as yet unrealized in the world.

(ISAS News: August 2008 issue)

September 30, 2008 updated

Open Up New Routes in Outer Space

The solar wind affects our daily life, yet we do not really understand how and from where it blows. The solar observation satellite HINODE successfully performed the first direct observation of the origin of the solar wind. It is expected that this success will bring significant breakthroughs in the research on the solar wind’s many mysteries.

(ISAS News: July 2008 issue)

July 28, 2008 updated

Open Up New Routes in Outer Space

Trajectory design - setting the route of explorers from earth to a target body - is the first, basic task for space exploration missions. By using the swingby technique, it is possible to change an explorer’s inclination or insert multiple explorers into different trajectories. This article uses examples to introduce the various attempts to open up new routes in outer space.

(ISAS News: May 2008 issue)

June 26, 2008 updated

Lifetime of Interstellar Dust Explored by AKARI Satellite

It is thought that the cloud of “interstellar dust” drifting in outer space plays an important role in the formation of organic matter, the origin of life. The study of the birth and evolution of interstellar dust is an important theme in astronomy. The astronomical satellite AKARI’s observation of the supernova 2006jc provided us with new information on interstellar dust.

(ISAS News: April 2008 issue)

April 11, 2008 updated

New Antennas to Support a Variety of Scientific Observation Missions:
Key Communication Equipment Capable of Withstanding a Harsh Environment

High-performance antennas capable of withstanding the harsh space environment are essential for communication with both earth-orbiting satellites and planetary explorers far distant from the earth. Various types of antennas to support a variety of scientific missions are now researched and developed by introducing new ideas beyond the conventional design.

(ISAS News: January 2008 issue)