In May 2003, with the backing and help of the US, Japan Aeronautical Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Hayabusa [peregrine falcon] from Kagoshima Prefecture, landing on the asteroid Itokawa twice in November 2005. The 550meters-long Itokawa’s orbit is located between Mars and Earth, discovering by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team in 1998 and named after the late Itokawa Hideo, Japan’s pioneer in rocket engineering. In the evening of 13 June 2010, Hayabusa landed in the desert near Woomera, southern Australia. On Itokawa, Hayabusa was to shoot two metal balls at the asteroid’s surface and collect debrit blown up by the impact. If Hayabusa brought back 0.1 millimeter of sand from Itokawa, scientists could analyze the formation of the asteroid. Hayabusa achieved the first-ever, round-trip voyage of a spacecraft to a heavenly body other than the moon. Its trip became the longest voyage in space- 2,592 days (the previous record of 2,534 days was held by the Stardust mission of NASA between February 1999 to January 2006).
A Russian expert warns that the successful mission by Hayabusa might provide a turning point for the Japanese military power, which currently ranks 5th in military spending on new high tech weapons for its Navy and Air Force (Japan News). The “Japan threaten” might come to reality.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Hayabusa and Japanese Military Power
After growing up and studying in China and Japan, Dr. Suganuma went to the U.S. for graduate studies, earning master’s degrees at both St. John's University (in Chinese studies) and Syracuse University (in international relations) as well as a Ph.D. (in geography) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.