On September 12, 1992, Japan and the U.S. joint mission launched the space shuttle flight STS-47, sending the first Japanese astronaut, Mamoru Mohri, into space. Since then, Japan and the U.S. have continued their exploration of space in a variety of ways. In 2003, Japan sent an asteroid explorer, HAYABUSA, which successfully completed the world's first mission to bring back samples from the asteroid Itokawa, overcoming a variety of difficulties and troubles during its long seven-year journey.
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Japan-U.S. human space flight cooperation, a number of special events will take place at the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan. We will have a commemorative exhibit, three theatrical film screenings based on the story of HAYABUSA, and a talk by astronauts. The events are presented in cooperation with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC (JCAW), IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Please join us in celebrating this special occasion.
Kento Ohashi, a novice ion engine developer, works on a team that is planning to launch the unmanned HAYABUSA spacecraft. His father Isao was the leader of a previously failed space mission NOZOMI. Carrying his and his father's dream on his shoulders, Kento is determined to overcome the many obstacles to successfully bring HAYABUSA home. It is a story of hope and the bond between a father and a son.
JAXA astronaut Norishige Kanai and NASA astronaut and Associate Administrator for Education Leland D. Melvin will share their unique experiences and discuss the importance of international space cooperation. The talk will be moderated by Midori Nishiura, JAXA's Executive Advisor for Public Affairs and International Relations. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED
Following the launch of HAYABUSA, Project Manager Yamaguchi prepares for the long journey ahead. During the seven-year plight of this unmanned spacecraft, facing everything from fuel leakage to transmission failure, Yamaguchi figures out a way to overcome the obstacles. But when the ion engine that powers the HAYABUSA fails, is Yamaguchi prepared to make the ultimate decision?
Aspiring astronomer Megumi Mizusawa is chosen by Dr. Matoba of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to join the HAYABUSA team , which is working to reach the asteroid Itokawa. If successful, it will become the first time for humankind to bring back sample material from an astral body beyond the earth's gravitational field. The film depicts the determination of the people involved and their strength to never give up.
Please note that each event requires a separate registration.
These events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat. Registered guests will be seated first. Open seats will be given to guests on standby when the program begins.