Join The Faculty of Engineering and IT in this public talk by Dr Masaki Fujimoto, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA).
Dr Fujimoto will be discussing extraterrestrial sample return missions and the deepening of collaborations between Japan and Australia in space research.
On December 6, 2020, the Hayabusa2 sample return capsule landed safely in Woomera, Australia. The capsule was quickly transported to the JAXA curation facility to avoid terrestrial contamination.
Careful opening of the sample container at the facility resulted in a pleasant surprise of confirming the number of samples, which had been sampled from the surface of a primordial asteroid by the name Ryugu, to be 50 times the minimum requirement.
The big success is followed by MMX, JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration, to be launched in 2024 and to return samples back from Phobos, one of the Martian moons, in 2029, with its capsule landing again in Woomera. MMX is not only a follow-up to Hayabusa2 in the line of small body sample return missions but also the first step in JAXA’s Mars exploration program.
Given the high expectations of MMX, and how well JAXA has been supported by Australians, MMX should trigger deeper collaborations between Australian and Japanese science communities
Dr Masaki Fujimoto - Deputy Director of Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS/JAXA)
Dr Masaki Fujimoto obtained his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1992.
After working on numerical simulation studies of space plasmas, he started to work on the problem of planetesimal formation - how to form initial building blocks of planets in proto-planetary disks, by applying a numerical scheme used in plasma physics research.
After his move to ISAS/JAXA, he helped coordinate international collaboration in the analysis of samples returned by Hayabusa1.
Since then, coupled with his research interest in the origin of the solar system, Masaki Fujimoto’s involvement in the small body exploration program of ISAS has been deepening including Hayabusa2, MMX and beyond.
As the Deputy Director of ISAS/JAXA, Masaki Fujimoto plays a key role in developing its space science program as well as in establishing international collaboration between ISAS/JAXA and foreign partners.