JAXA Series: Part 1 – Searching for the Origins of the Universe


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Image: JAXA

Explore the universe from the comfort of your home in a series of online talk events hosted by Japan House London introducing the exciting work of JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

As Japan’s national aerospace and space agency, JAXA is responsible for research and technology development in the fields of space and aviation. Its missions include asteroid exploration, the launch of earth observation satellites into orbit, and participation in international space exploration projects.

The first event in this special series introduces JAXA’s aims and activities and looks ahead to the imminent return of the asteroid explorer Hayabusa2. Nearing the end of its six-year mission, Hayabusa2 is due to return to earth in early December 2020 with samples collected from the asteroid Ryūgū. Analysis of these samples may help us to better understand the origins and evolution of the solar system and the universe, and perhaps provide answers to the fundamental question – where do we come from?

There will be an opportunity for guests to ask questions to the speakers during this live online event.

Speaker Profiles
Sudō Katsuya | 須藤勝也

Sudō Katsuya is the Director of the Paris Office of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He joined NASDA (currently JAXA) in 1995 and has since worked in a number of the agency’s departments including General Affairs, Procurement, Aeronautical Technology Directorate and Human Resources.

Yoshikawa Makoto | 吉川真

Yoshikawa Makoto is Associate Professor at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He is the mission manager of the Hayabusa2 project. He completed his Ph.D. degree in astronomy at the University of Tokyo in 1989. After working as a researcher of JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), he worked at the former Communication Research Laboratory from 1991 as senior researcher. He moved to ISAS as Associate Professor in 1998. His research field is celestial mechanics, and he has been involved in many space missions such as GEOTAIL, HALCA, Nozomi, Hayabusa, Akatsuki, and IKAROS. He is now also working on planetary defence issues.

Discussant Profile
Natalie Starkey

Natalie Starkey is a popular science writer and science communicator with a research background in geology and planetary science. Her work on US, European and Japanese space missions such as Stardust, Rosetta and Hayabusa led to her writing her first book Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids and the Birth of the Solar System. Natalie regularly appears on television and radio internationally, as well as being a science host on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular StarTalk Radio. She is currently working on her second book Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System and is a Public Engagement Officer for Physics at The Open University.