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Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)

21st APRSAF held in Tokyo

Last Updated: December 6, 2014

The 21st session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) convened at the International Exchange Center in the Tokyo Academic Park, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan on 4th and 5th of December, 2014. Before the plenary session, two sectional meetings regarding Kibo utilization were held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in the same area.

The Kibo-ABC workshop held on the 1st of December was attended by 27 people from 9 countries. Started in 2012, the Kibo-ABC initiative has piloted introductory programs targeted expedited creation of space environment utilization missions by Asian countries in the future. The participants recognized the importance of the Kibo-ABC activities including "Space Seeds for Asian Future (SSAF)", "Simple Free Fall", and "Try Zero-G", and recommended to continue these actions. To develop and extend the SSAF program, the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA) proposed new plant experiments which were based on the experience obtained through the SSAF2013, to be conducted in 2015 and after. It was agreed to launch the plant experiment in the next year, and also to begin feasibility studies and ground experiments in terms of both scientific and technical point of view, to realize the space mission to nurture herbs in Kibo, "Asian Herb in Space (AHiS)" in the near future.

On the 2nd and 3rd of December, the annual meeting of the Space Environment Utilization Working Group (SEU WG) took place with 53 participants from 10 countries. Outstanding activities of the working group included high quality protein crystal growth experiment conducted by ANGKASA and Vietnamese CubeSat "PicoDragon". It was recommended to initiate R&D project for small satellite launch utilizing the small satellite deployer of Kibo (J-SSOD) and to fully utilize both pressurized module and exposed facility before 2020. The importance of the Asian students' parabolic flight program was also recognized and its continuation was recommended.

The agenda covered two special topics, space medicine and international space exploration, in addition to regular activity reports. The participants recognized the great potential of space exploration in stimulating innovative ideas, producing spin-off prospects and creating business opportunities. JAXA astronaut Dr. Chiaki Mukai and others introduced current status of space medicine program which is not only for human space exploration, but also for human society on the earth. They emphasized that interdisciplinary and international approaches were essential for public health program such as "tele-epidemiology". Participations of Asian countries in space medicine and space exploration thought collaboration with JAXA are welcome.

Kibo-ABC participants

SEU WG participants

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