A Message from JAXA's Astronaut Wakata

July 28, 2011

Subaru Telescope has received a message from Astronaut Dr. Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Dr. Wakata visited Subaru Telescope during May 2011 and returned a banner that Subaru Telescope gave to him to carry into space when he traveled to and lived on the International Space Station (ISS). As part of his busy schedule, he took time to share some of his experiences about his space shuttle flight and life on the ISS. He also spent a day visiting Subaru Telescope's summit facility atop Mauna Kea. He gave support and encouragement to Subaru's staff members who perform maintenance work in a challenging environment, the high altitude of Mauna Kea at 4200 meters above sea level. (Subaru Topics on June 13th, 2011).


We want to share the message from JAXA's Astronaut Wakata as well as some pictures of his visit to Subaru Telescope in May 2011.

To the team at Subaru Telescope,

Thank you very much for the impressive tour of the Subaru Telescope during my visit in May. It was a privilege to fly a memento from Subaru Telescope on the Space Shuttle and an honor to return it to the team in the spring of this year. When talking with the team members supporting the operation of the Subaru Telescope, I felt their vivid passion for leading the astronomical research in the world. Since the beginning of on-orbit operation of the International Space Station in 1998, we have been conducting a variety of scientific experiments, as well as earth and astronomical observations onboard. Based on the strong team approach of the flight control teams of all international partners and the crewmembers on the ISS, we were able to successfully overcome problems we had encountered on orbit, including the failure of a component of the thermal control system which occurred last summer. I wish for a quick and full recovery of the operation of Subaru Telescope and the continued success of the team in their pursuit of discovering the unknowns of our universe.

Koichi Wakata
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Astronaut








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