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Kirara will be launched to the ISS in March 2023


On March 15, 2023, "Kirara," which means shiny in Japanese, will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Space-X Dragon. 

This is the fourth mission of Kirara, the protein crystallization service operated on the ISS through the ICE Cubes service and utilizing a small reusable incubator developed by JAMSS. A number of companies, research institutions and universities from Japan, Hungary and Korea will participate in the mission. Some of them have been participating since Kirara first mission. Several samples related to the government projects will be launched by the team of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Commissioned Research Project on Earth Observation Technology. The members are Prof. Igarashi, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, who achieved first cellulose synthesis by enzyme in space, Assoc. Prof. Tajima, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Hokkaido, Prof. Imai, Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University and Confocal Sciences. Moreover InnoStudio will launch samples to validate their breakthrough results on COVID-19 drug research and pharmaceutical stability in space, obtained during their previous two KIRARA missions. In addition, Nagoya City University and Chem-Station, a chemistry portal site, also participated.

As space education missions, the following two projects will be flown together:
Tanaka Sangyo Co., Ltd. will launch a sample of seed rice in a joint project "Kome Tane Space Project 2022-2023" with the local Higashihonmachi Elementary School. We hope that this experience will help children develop an interest in agriculture and space, and nurture their dreams for the future.
JAMSS and NIPPON TRAVEL AGENCY CO., LTD. will jointly host the "Space Science Lab - Challenge to make crystals in the real space! ~". The samples which were defined by junior high and high school students will be loaded on Space-X Dragon after they have studied the conditions with the goal of "creating larger and more beautiful crystals”.

In addition, Sora-Dayori Studio, Inc., which is supporting the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, will launch a gold leaf. The Kirara Share Service, which uses the available space in the Kirara incubator cube, will be equipped with an SD card that contains message data. This is part of Kirara's campaign "Launch Your Message to Space" held during APRSAF-28 (Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum - 28) in Vietnam, Hanoi last fall. Messages from space agencies and space business representatives in Asian countries who participated in the forum are stored on an SD card and will be launched as a special campaign.

Kirara is a commercial service realized within an international framework of private companies, in which Confocal Sciences will load crystallization tubes filled with customer samples into the JAMSS-developed incubator, while Space Applications Services of Europe covers the installation of the Kirara incubator cube in the commercial ICE Cubes facility on-board the ISS (see https://www.icecubesservice.com/journal/journey-crystals-to-space/). As the commercial space station becomes more and more accessible and increasingly commercial, we will develop our business in preparation for the new era by providing services using the assets (equipment, etc.) of private companies.

Graguate School of Agticultural and Life Sciences / Faculty of Agriculture , The University of Tokyo
Hokkaido University
Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere , Kyoto University
Confocal Science Inc.



▼Kirara space education mission and Share Service
Kome Tane Space Project in 2022-2023
"Space Science Lab - Challenge to make crystals in the real space! ~"
Sora-Dayori Studio, Inc.

▼Related article
Calling for samples of Kirara#4 to be launched in January 2023



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