The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)


Selection for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Project

Faculty of Science and Engineering Academic Staff and Students Taking Aim at Space

"WASEDA-SAT2" with sides measuring about 10cm and weighing 1 kilogram (courtesy of JAXA)

Faculty of Science and Engineering Professor Shoji Torii's proposed mission has been selected for the second outboard experiment in the International Space Station's experiment lab module "Kibo." The mission's "high-energy electron, gamma ray observation equipment" is to find the origins of cosmic rays, search for dark matter and elicit the speed and propagation of cosmic rays by observing high-energy electron rays and gamma rays within cosmic rays, and monitor changes in cosmic ray intensity. The launch is set for 2013. The equipment will be carried to "Kibo" on the JAXA designed space station supply vehicle HTV and installed by astronauts operating a robotic arm.

Sketch of mission leader Professor Torii's observation instrument "CALET."

Elsewhere, "WASEDA-SAT2," a small satellite jointly devised and developed by students from the laboratories of Professor Tomoyuki Miyashita and Professor Hiroshi Yamakawa, was selected as one of four public entries to be sent into space by JAXA, and was launched with the Venus probe "Akatsuki" from Tanegashima Space Center on May 21. At present, its outer space experiments have proved unsuccessful, but it will be sure to become a great experience for the students who have put everything into construction, heat regulation, power source, communications and data processing.