「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

日本の宇宙開発 山崎さん活躍でも課題は多い

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 23, 2010)
Nation's space program faces many challenges
日本の宇宙開発 山崎さん活躍でも課題は多い(4月22日付・読売社説)

Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki has returned to Earth after completing her mission at the International Space Station.
 国際宇宙ステーションから、任務を終えた山崎直子さんが帰還した。

Yamazaki is the first Japanese mother to have gone into space. After she returned, she was reunited with her husband and daughter, who supported her from Earth while she was on her 15-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery. We would like to thank Yamazaki for her sterling efforts.
 日本で初のお母さん宇宙飛行士だ。15日間のスペースシャトルの飛行中活躍を応援していた夫と長女も再会を喜んだ。まずは、お疲れ様と言いたい。

The space shuttle fleet, which has been in service for about 30 years, will be retired this year. The latest flight was the last to carry a Japanese astronaut into space.
 初飛行から約30年のシャトルは年内で退役する。今回は、日本人として最後の搭乗だった。

Yamazaki assumed a heavy responsibility as a loadmaster charged with delivering supplies to the ISS, as well as conducting experiments to culture rat muscle cells and study the effect of the zero-gravity atmosphere on the cells.
 山崎さんは物資輸送の責任者という重責を担い、ネズミの筋肉細胞を育てて無重力の影響を調べるといった実験にも携わった。

She even managed to find the time to put on a kimono and play the koto while she was in orbit.
和服姿や琴の演奏を披露するなどパフォーマンスも次々こなした。

===

Calls for review growing

What does Japan hope to achieve in space? Japan has long considered its involvement in the international partnership behind the ISS to be a central pillar of its manned space activity. But recently, calls for a review of this policy have been getting louder.
 こうした努力の先に何を目指すのか。日本は、ステーションでの国際協力を有人宇宙活動の柱に位置づけてきたが、見直しを求める声が出ている。

A typical example is the proposal compiled this week by a panel of experts for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara, who is in charge of space development. The panel recommended the government reexamine the benefits of the current space development program.
 代表例が、前原国土交通相(宇宙開発担当)の有識者会議が今週まとめた提言だ。改めて計画のメリットを検討すべきだという。

Japan has attached great importance to being part of the international team involved with the ISS, primarily because it is more efficient--in both money and time--than singlehandedly developing a manned craft for space exploration. The government believed this strategy would provide valuable experience in space activities.
 日本がステーションを重視してきたのは、独自に有人宇宙船を開発して宇宙を目指すより、費用と時間がかからないためだ。効率良く経験を積めると考えた。

Even so, Japan spends 40 billion yen on ISS-related activities, out of the annual 200 billion yen budget for the space program, excluding national security-related expenses.
 それでも、安全保障関連を除く日本の年間宇宙予算2000億円のうち、ステーション関連は400億円にのぼる。

Yet there have so far been only a few space experiments that have eventually led to discoveries that can have an industrial application. Applications to conduct tests using the Kibo experiment module--now part of the space station--have only trickled in.
 だが、宇宙実験が産業化につながった例はまだ少ない。日本の宇宙実験棟「きぼう」を使う実験を募っても応募は低調だ。

The panel's proposal has been worked out based on these realities. The proposal did not rule out that Japan might withdraw from the ISS program in the future, and suggested that this budget could then be diverted to satellite development or other projects.
 提言は、こうした実態を踏まえている。将来的にステーションから撤退し、予算を人工衛星開発などに充てることも視野に置く。

===

U.S. sets new goals

The new space strategy announced this spring by the United States, a leading power in space development, has added to the pressure on Japan to review its space program.
 宇宙開発大国の米国が今春、新たな宇宙戦略を打ち出したことも日本に計画再考を迫っている。

The U.S. government has decided to entrust the private sector with developing manned spacecraft to replace the space shuttles, and canceled the manned lunar exploration that had been a recent pet project in Washington.
 米政府は、シャトル退役後の有人宇宙船は民間に開発を任せ、これまで主要な目標に掲げてきた月の有人探査を取りやめた。

The new goal is manned exploration to Mars in the 2030s. The United States also decided to extend the operation of the ISS by five years until 2020.
 新たな目標は2030年代の有人火星探査だが、同時にステーションの運用を20年まで5年間延長した。

Accordingly, the international agreement concerning operation of the space station, which is good until 2015, will be extended by five years. Will Japan join the extended program?
ステーション運用に関する15年までの国際協定も延長されるが、日本は従来通り、これに加わるのか。

Russia is now the only nation that can provide manned transport of equipment and supplies to the ISS for the time being. But will the cost of these missions increase as a result?
 有人輸送は当面、ロシアに頼るが、その分費用は増えないか。

Should Japan pull out of the ISS, the country will lag behind in space development. Japan must make some difficult choices.
撤退すれば世界の動きから取り残されてしまう。日本は極めて難しい選択を迫られることになる。

The current administration, however, has not held a single meeting of the space development strategy headquarters of the Prime Minister's Office, which is supposed to be the control tower on the matter. This is quite irresponsible.
 しかし、現政権は、総合司令塔であるべき首相官邸の宇宙開発戦略本部の会合さえ全く開いていない。無責任だろう。

We hope the administration will become more constructively involved in this issue.
もっと前向きに取り組んでほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 22, 2010)
(2010年4月22日01時19分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-04-23 09:08 | 英字新聞

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