Space Enviroment Utilization Working Group
Space Seed for Asian Future 2010-2011
Posted on January 18, 2011
The Space Environment Utilization Working Group (SEU WG) is launching its own space mission for the first time. The Space Seed for Asian Future (SSAF) 2010-2011 mission has been planned and developed by the space agencies participating in the SEU WG.
The SEU WG, which plans to optimize the use of "Kibo", one of the key components of the International Space Station (ISS), has discussed ways to facilitate effective joint utilization of the space environment among Asia-Pacific countries. Those activities include ground based events such as Asian students' parabolic experiments and various feasibility studies for future space experiments.
As the first step for the real mission in space, the space agencies of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have developed a plan to send their seeds to "Kibo". Although just sending plant seeds into space might sound quite easy, there are so many hard tasks to be carried out in reality. The staffs of participating agencies and their collaborators have overcome all sorts of difficulties in the process and the seeds are now waiting for their launch.
"KOUNOTORI2" (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the ISS) carrying the seeds is scheduled to be launched on January 20, 2011. The seeds will be retrieved several months later by Space Shuttle Endeavour. Various local programs making full use of the space seeds are being planned by each participating agency. The SSAF2010-2011 program will deepen understanding of the importance of space utilization by people in the Asia-Pacific region and will stimulate scientific interest among young students.