Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wish Upon A Moon, Japanese Style Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

With the Chinese red dragon giving even NASA a run for their money, Japan is attempting to promote space culture among its own, seeking not only to regain its lost leadership in the eastern space race, but over take its rival of a billion people.

( Japan's space agency JAXA announced last week that the much-delayed SELENE probe will be launched in August aboard an H-2A rocket, the mainstay of Japan's space program. [...]

"This mission will involve observation of the whole moon, not just parts of it," said JAXA spokesman Satoki Kurokawa. "It is a very ambitious project."

The mission is a stepping stone in Japan's plan to more aggressively pursue space objectives — including a lunar landing and, possibly, manned missions in space. To raise public awareness, JAXA is conducting a "Wish Upon the Moon" campaign that allows people to send brief messages up with the orbiter.

Japan has not had as much success as their eastern brethren in regards to the space race. With problems ranging from Martian space probes going off course, to over delaying a lunar probe, the land of the rising sun does not appear too shiny lately regarding its space program.

Although one could site Japan's problems as being financial, technical, etc., their main issue here seems to be the fact that they are attempting to overtake China by pioneering "grandiose" missions without taking the necessary baby steps first.

China is already determined to revisit the moon, (hat tip: Space For Commerce) regardless whether the US, Russia, Japan or India beat them to it. If Japan desires to actually become a space power, then they need to discover national reasons for colonizing space apart from world activities, as that will inspire their people more than "keeping up with the Joneses."

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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