On August 3, 2013 (Saturday), the ”Let’s Learn about Space” space school program was held on the Ito Campus.
This event was intended to provide encouragement to astronaut Koichi Wakata, an alumnus of Kyushu University who made his fourth space flight on November 7 this year and who is scheduled to act as the commander of the International Space Station (ISS) in the latter half of the ongoing long-term stay aboard the ISS, which will last half a year, becoming the first Japanese ISS commander. The event was also intended to stimulate children’s interest in space. In the event hall, which was packed with around 220 children and parents, a video message from Mr. Wakata, who is also Ambassador of the Ambitious Youth Project of Fukuoka Prefecture, was aired and Mr. Ryoichi Kumagai, who is the commander of the space control office of Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS) and who served as an instructor and trainer of Mr. Wakata, delivered a speech.
In his speech, Mr. Kumagai talked about such matters as what kind of training astronauts undergo and what kind of place space is. The hall was filled with an air of enthusiasm as children asked such questions as what colors the aurora shows and in which position astronauts sleep in the space station in a question-and-answer session that lasted as long as 30 minutes following the speech.
Thereafter, the participants were taken to the Center for Advanced Aerospace Engineering to observe a micro satellite called QSAT-EOS. They earnestly listened to explanations given by Professor Shigeru Aso of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Faculty of Engineering, and students involved in the development of the satellite. Meanwhile, 222 messages of encouragement collected from children at this event will be sent to Astronaut Wakata.
(Top) Mr. Ryoichi Kumagai of Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS)
(Center)Explanations being given using video images
(Bottom)Students of Kyushu University providing an outline of the QSAT-EOS satellite at the Center for Advanced Aerospace Engineering