Birth and Evolution of the ISS: Past, Present and Future

DOI:10.15011/jasma.33.330403
Int. J. Microgravity Sci. Appl. 2016p330403
Author
Y. OHKAMI
Organization
Institute of System Design and Management, Keio University
Abstract
As most of large-scale international joint projects, participation of Japan to the Space Station program proposed by the United States of America (US) was initiated by a political decision made by US President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in a so-called Ron-Yasu talk. This project, later called ‘Program’ took place in 1982 as a post-Shuttle project, and the completion of the Space Station was targeted in 1992, which was the 400 anniversary of Columbus discovery of the new continent. In addition to Japan, European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) participated. In this article, based on the author’s experience spent at the Space Station Program Office in Science and Technology Agency (STA) from 1985 to 1986 and follow-on activities until now, an overview of the International Space Station (ISS) and manned space activities of Japan will be presented with emphasis on including story of hard negotiations among participating countries, and also between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Head Quarters (HQ’s) and field centers. Transition of the names of the space segment of this program may symbolize political influences. Furthermore, participation of Russia after collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) gave a huge impact on the operational aspects of the ISS. We should observe carefully some political implications of space activities in addition to scientific and technical aspects of the venture.
Keyword(s)
International Space Station, ISS, Post-Shuttle Project
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Received 18 January 2016, accepted 19 September 2016, published 31 July 2016.

© The Japan Society of Microgravity Applicaiton

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