SPACED OUT: Tokyo 2020 collaboration with JAXA, Space Brothers author

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori and Astronaut Soichi Noguchi

There are few things cooler than the intersection of sport, culture, and science. Fortunately the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has come through for us space nerds with a terrific-looking collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and famous manga author Chuya Koyama.

Tokyo 2020 and Koyama will stage a series of experience on the International Space Station (ISS) with the help of Norishige Kanai and Soichi Noguchi, two Japanese astronauts who are already on-board the station.

Noguchi, who has gone up to space twice already and will return to the ISS for about half a year at the end of 2019, met with Organizing Committee president Yoshiro Mori on Thursday to promote the collaboration.

“I will return to space in two years, so my mission will overlap with the mounting excitement for the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Noguchi told the Tokyo 2020 official website. “In the meantime, in the field of aerospace, the asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 will return to Earth in 2020.

“Various projects are intersecting in the run-up to 2020. As we all embrace our dreams and begin running alongside each other toward our respective goals, I think it would be wonderful if we all achieve them in 2020.”

Koyama, who pens the best-selling space manga Space Brothers, is also enthusiastic about the project, saying: ” I hope the fans of my work ‘Space Brothers’ as well as those interested in space and in the Olympic and Paralympic Games will enjoy seeing how ‘Space Brothers’ can contribute to the project.”

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