What are we up to at ISAS?

Stony Materials Initial Analysis Team results for the history of asteroid Ryugu

Research highlights: The “Stony Materials Initial Analysis Team” have published their first results from the initial analysis of the asteroid Ryugu sample returned by the Hayabusa2 mission in the international journal Science.

Ryugu & Bennu: Ask us your questions!

Two asteroids. Two countries. Two incredible missions! JAXA's Hayabusa2 and NASA's OSIRIS-REx visited two asteroid, Ryugu and Bennu. This week, the teams get together to answer your questions on social media.

Global Space News: Comet Interceptor mission “adopted”

On June 8, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the study phase for the Comet Interceptor mission was complete, and the mission had been formally approved for construction for a scheduled launch in 2029. Comet Interceptor is an ESA-led mission with JAXA participation, and the news was eagerly received by the Comet Interceptor team at ISAS.

OMOTENASHI & EQUULEUS: the tiny spacecraft onboard the world’s most powerful rocket

Excitement is mounting for the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). But onboard one of the largest rockets ever built are two of the world's smallest spacecraft that will help test technology for future human exploration.

Global Space News: NASA’s Insight Mission draws to a close

The accumulation of dust on the solar panels of NASA's InSight Mars Lander is set to bring the mission to a close this summer. But extraterrestrial seismometry is just beginning, explain our researchers.

Our Sun is going through a highly energetic phase: A look at the 25th solar activity cycle

Despite being a researcher and keen on quantitative descriptions, I chose more intuitive and fun title for this article. But what does it actually mean when we say that the Sun is “energetic”? In this article, we’ll take a look at how solar activity has been increasing during the 2020s, and the significance of solar observations by future missions such as Solar-C (EUVST).

Global Space News: Ancient galaxy candidate

It has been a record breaking year for discovering ancient celestial objects, including a candidate for the oldest galaxy ever observed. Our researchers take a look at what comes next.

The world’s first space flight for the rotating detonation engine, and a glimpse at a new sample return capsule

As with all sounding rockets, the flight was brief and the 8m long rocket dropped into the sea eight minutes after launch. Splashing down alongside the rocket were records of the flight on a chip embedded in JAXA’s newest re-entry capsule. That data would reveal that for six seconds above the Earth, the S-520-31 was powered by a new type of rocket engine in the first successful space flight demonstration in the world.

Global Space News: A new Earth Trojan

At the end of 2020, a near-Earth asteroid was discovered that was dubbed 2020 XL5. Further analysis of the asteroid's orbit published last month revealed that this new discovery was actually an Earth Trojan: an asteroid that shares the Earth's orbit around the Sun. ISAS researchers discuss this new discovery, and plans for future exploration.

The search for life on other worlds: Suzuki Shino discusses the importance of microbiology in searching for habitable worlds

“Life cannot survive unless it can be born somewhere,” points out Associate Professor Suzuki Shino in the Department of Interdisciplinary Space Science at ISAS. “To discover extraterrestrial life, we must therefore understand the kinds of planetary environment that can produce life. So searching for the origin of life and extraterrestrial life are two sides of the same coin.”

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