May 20, 2014

Reconsider Japan's space program

As budget pressures become more competitive, it will be up to Japan's experts and taxpayers to consider what approach will best serve the nation's needs for space exploration — not bureaucrats and politicians.

Wakata hands over command of space station

May 13, 2014

Wakata hands over command of space station

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata passed the title of commander of the International Space Station to U.S. astronaut Steven Swanson early Monday and prepared to return to Earth. He spent 66 days in the role, marking a first for any astronaut from Asia. “I had ...

Kirobo put through its paces on ISS

Dec 20, 2013

Kirobo put through its paces on ISS

The first humanoid robot in space with speech capability made small talk with astronaut Koichi Wakata and said it had no problem with zero-gravity on the International Space Station. Footage released by the its developers Friday showed Kirobo performing its first mission on the ...

2013: A space conundrum

Sep 15, 2013

2013: A space conundrum

by Joel Achenbach

Long ago, in a dreamier era, space stations were imagined as portals to the heavens. In the 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the huge structure twirled in orbit, aesthetically sublime, a relaxing way station for astronauts heading to the moon. It featured a ...

Japan's robo-astronaut aboard ISS takes 'one small step'

Sep 5, 2013

Japan's robo-astronaut aboard ISS takes 'one small step'

A pint-size android has uttered the first robotic words in space, showcasing Japan’s drive to combine cutting-edge technology with cuteness. The wide-eyed and bootie-wearing Kirobo — roughly the size of a chihuahua — broadcast a message from inside the International Space Station, greeting citizens ...