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Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)

AHiS News: Australian Ambassador gives JAXA seeds to be sent into space!

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

On August 27, 2020, Australian Ambassador H.E. Mr Richard Court AC handed over Golden Wattle seeds to JAXA Vice President Mr Hiroshi SASAKI at the Australian Embassy Tokyo. The Golden Wattle seeds will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the "Asian Herb in Space" project this autumn. JAXA will prepare for the launch with the participating space agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australian Ambassador H.E. Mr Richard Court AC with the Certificate of Acceptance and JAXA Vice President Mr Hiroshi SASAKI with Golden Wattle seeds (Credit: Australian Embassy Tokyo)

Handover ceremony in front of a Golden Wattle tree at the Australian Embassy Tokyo (Credit: Australian Embassy Tokyo)

Golden Wattle seeds to be launched to the ISS/Kibo (Credit: JAXA)

The AHiS project is the 3rd implementation of the Space Seeds for Asian Future (SSAF) program and is made up of 2 missions. The purpose of Mission-1 is to analyze the effect of micro gravity on herbs grown in the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" in ISS. The purpose of Mission-2 is to grow seeds which were returned from ISS on the ground.
Many organizations affiliated with the Kibo-ABC initiative are taking part in this project and they played a part in selecting the seeds in Mission-2. The Golden Wattle is the national flower of Australia and is known to have anti-cancer effects. The Australian Space Agency and the One Giant Leap Australia Foundation manage the AHiS project in Australia. After returning from ISS, these seeds including Golden Wattle seeds in Mission-2 will be used for research and education purposes by each organization.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark AC (Credit: Australian Space Agency)

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC said,
"The Australian Space Agency is excited to be working with JAXA on the Asian Herbs in Space Program. Seeds from Australia's national floral emblem, the golden wattle will be sent to the International Space Station for six months. When the seeds are returned from space, students across Australia will have the opportunity to take part in scientific inquiry by planting these golden wattle seeds and comparing them to control seeds that have not been to space. Through this program the Agency is contributing to its goal to inspire the Australian community and encourage students to think about the types of careers there are in space."

Related links

The news release of the Australian Embassy Tokyo - Seeds in Space: What'll Happen to the Wattle?! -
Joint media release in Australia: One giant leap for Aussie Golden Wattle


The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) - about Golden Wattle seeds - (in Japanese)
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