野口さん帰還 フロンティア開拓に生かそう

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 5, 2010)
Continue exploring the frontier of space
野口さん帰還 フロンティア開拓に生かそう(6月4日付・読売社説)

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi has returned to Earth after an extended stay on the International Space Station. He was in orbit for 163 days, the longest mission ever by a Japanese astronaut.
 国際宇宙ステーションに長期滞在していた宇宙飛行士の野口聡一さんが地球に無事帰還した。
 宇宙滞在期間は163日間にも及ぶ。日本人としてこれまでで最も長い。

"The Earth air is refreshing," Noguchi said immediately after his return. He also spoke about Earth's gravity, saying he felt like "something's wrong with my neck."
 帰還直後には「地球の空気はおいしい」と感想を述べた。久々の地球の重力に、「首に違和感がある」とも漏らしていた。

The ISS is the front line of humankind's advancement into space, a harsh frontier. We appreciate Noguchi's continued efforts to send footage to the Earth with a smile during his stay in space.
 ステーションは人類の宇宙進出の最前線だ。改めて過酷なフロンティアと思う。それでも宇宙滞在中、笑顔で映像を送り続けた野口さんに、お疲れ様と言いたい。

Noguchi carried out numerous experiments that could only be done in space. He cultivated muscle fibers in a weightless environment, for example, to further the study of muscular diseases. He also worked to grow enzyme crystals to help develop new materials. All this produced valuable data.
 宇宙でしかできない実験も多数こなした。筋肉の病気研究のため無重力で筋肉繊維を育てたり、新材料開発のため結晶を作ったりして貴重なデータを得ている。

Noguchi's tests also included taking medicine himself.
自ら薬剤を飲む実験もあった。

Japanese astronauts are scheduled to stay on the ISS for extended periods next year and the year after that. Will it be possible to conduct advanced tests that would require more time but could produce results that could be used more effectively?
 来年、再来年も日本人の長期滞在が予定されている。
 もっと時間はかかるが、より有効利用できる高度な実験はできないものか。

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is involved in the U.S-led ISS project, and should make the best use of Noguchi's experiences to ensure that astronauts staying on the ISS can produce even more fruitful results.
 ステーション計画を担う宇宙航空研究開発機構は、宇宙滞在をさらに実りあるものにするよう、野口さんの経験を生かすべきだ。

===

Project's value questioned

In recent years, objections have been raised about the ISS project, the operational costs of which include an annual Japanese contribution of 40 billion yen. This is because only a few of the experimental achievements made on the ISS have been used for industrial purposes.
 日本だけで年に400億円の運営経費を要するステーション計画には、最近、異論が多い。
 宇宙実験の成果が産業化につながる例が限られているためだ。

Making matters worse, U.S. President Barack Obama said early this year--to the confusion of many--that instead of keeping the station in place until the end of 2015, as initially planned, the ISS operation would likely be extended for at least five years after that.
 加えて、オバマ米大統領が今年初め、2015年までとしてきたステーションの運用期間を、最低でも5年延長する方針を打ち出したことが波紋を広げている。

Even by simple arithmetic, this would require Japan to increase its contribution by more than 200 billion yen. With this in mind, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has started considering whether to continue our nation's involvement in the ISS project when its operations are extended.
 日本は単純計算でも2000億円以上のコスト増になる。延長後も継続して参加するか、文部科学省が検討を始めたところだ。

Skeptics also note that the aging U.S. space shuttle fleet will be decommissioned by the end of the year, requiring astronauts to rely on Russia for transportation to and from the ISS.
 老朽化した米スペースシャトルが年内で退役し、人の輸送がロシア頼りになることも、懸念材料となっている。

===

Russia raising prices

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft was used to transport Noguchi to the ISS from Earth and carry him back. It is distinct from U.S. space shuttles in that an astronaut plunges through the atmosphere in a Soyuz capsule, while shuttles sail through the air like winged planes.
 野口さんも今回、行き帰りともロシアのソユーズ宇宙船に搭乗した。翼があり飛行機のように滑空するシャトルとは異なり、ソユーズは、人がカプセルに乗り込んで大気圏に突入する。

Russia has proposed an increase in the cost of transport via the Soyuz, a spaceship that has been used since the initial stage of space development and gained international recognition for its safety--as if to take advantage of other ISS participants' weakness in this area. A rise in transport expenditures could increase the costs of the whole ISS project.
 宇宙開発初期から運用され、安全性は高いが、ロシアは、他国の足元を見るかのように、輸送費用の値上げを言い出した。計画全体のコストが上昇しかねない。

In response, the government has devised a plan to shore up this country's research and development regarding space exploration, with a view to building its own manned spacecraft. The government has said such a project will require an estimated 90 billion yen.
 そんな中、政府は、日本独自の有人宇宙船開発を視野に基盤となる研究開発を充実させる方針も打ち出した。900億円の予算が必要と試算している。

Building a manned spaceship of Japan's own is an ambitious enterprise. But the question is how to finance such a costly undertaking. We hope the government will step up efforts to consider ways and means of further exploring the frontier of the universe.
 夢はある。だが、財源はどうするのか。宇宙のフロンティアを目指す検討を急ぎたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,June 4, 2010)
(2010年6月4日01時25分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-05 09:22 | 英字新聞

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