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Thursday, July 19, 2018, 15:00 - 16:00

Hitoshi Kuninaka, Vice President, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Director General, JAXA ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science)
Makoto Yoshikawa, Associate Professor, JAXA ISAS and Mission Manager of Hayabusa2 Project Team

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English

"To Boldly To Go Where No Man (-Made) Object Has Gone Before"

In 2010, the Japanese space probe Hayabusa returned to Earth following a seven-year roundtrip to the asteroid Itokawa, about 6 billion kilometers there and back. It became the first space vehicle to visit another world and return to Earth since the Apollo Moon landings.

On June 27, the Hayabusa2 space probe rendezvoused with the asteroid Ryugu, where it plans to land and spend eighteen months exploring the surface. Its primary mission is to scoop up asteroid soil and bring it home in order to study the origins and evolution of the solar system and beginnings of life.

The first Hayabusa mission failed to bring back the much-hoped for soil samples but particles of dust from the surface of the asteroid Itokawa, which the second mission hopes to rectify. Nonetheless, the first Hayabusa's 2.593-day trip was the longest round trip space voyage on record.

Japan has one of the world's most sophisticated space programs, but few people know about it. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan is seeking to bring its achievements to the attention of a wider public by inviting two speakers from the space agency known as JAXA.

Dr. Kuninaka completed the Ph.D. program in Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The University of Tokyo in 1988. In 2011 he served as Lunar and Planetary Exploration Program Group Director at JAXA. A former project manager of Hayabusa2 in 2012. Dr. Yoshikawa obtained the Ph.D. degree in astronomy at the The University of Tokyo in 1989. Yoshikawa was involved numerous space missions such as GEOTAIL, HALCA, Nozomi, Hayabusa, Akatsuki, and IKAROS. He is now also working on planetary defense issues.


Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee


 Hitoshi Kuninaka                         Makoto Yoshikawa

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