Blog from March, 2013

KiwiSpace joins Kibo-ABC

Flying high above the Earth right now is a wonderful laboratory - the International Space Station. It's made up of many different modules, including the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" (Hope).

KiwiSpace Foundation has just become a member of the Kibo-ABC initiative – a JAXA-led initiative to promote awareness of microgravity research, encourage collaboration between the Asia-Pacific partners; and provide access to the Japanese module “Kibo” on the International Space Station (ISS).

Image: Key components of the Japanese Kibo module.

The Kibo-ABC (Asian Beneficial Collaboration through "Kibo" Utilisation initiative was formed by the Space Environment Utilisation Working Group of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). Its members currently consist of organisations from the following countries: Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam - with more expected to join following promotion of the initiative at APRSAF-19 last year.

There are some cool initiatives which KiwiSpace will be promoting within NZ:

Space Seeds for Asian Future: We'll post more on this shortly, but some Azuki Bean seeds will be sent to the International Space Station and grown under microgravity. We will have seeds available for New Zealand schools from the same batch – and students will be able to perform control experiments to compare the differences between the seeds growth. 

Try Zero-G: An opportunity for students to suggest simple experiments to be performed by a Japanese astronaut aboard the ISS, demonstrating the effects of microgravity.  Several Australian students have had their experiments performed on station in the past two editions of the program.