This week, we’ll talk about the birth of the Japanese space program. From its origins as the brainchild of a former weapons designer and a borderline pyromaniac, the programs now incorporated into JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have accomplished some of the most amazing technical feats of the 20th and 21st century. How did they do it, and why? And what’s changing now with the rise of China?
Listen to the episode here.
Molt, Clay. Asia’s Space Race
Pekkanen, Saadia, and Paul Kalendar-Umezu, In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy.
JAXA’s own archivists on Itokawa Hideo and the pencil rocket.