Japanese Astronaut Furukawa Reprimanded over Data Fabrication

Science Society

Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese astronaut and doctor Satoshi Furukawa said Thursday that he has been reprimanded by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, over the fabrication of experiment data in space medicine research.

Furukawa, 58, who oversaw the research, told a press conference in Tokyo that he received the reprimand Tuesday. “I apologize for damaging the trust of the public through inappropriate research conduct and management,” he said.

He became the first Japanese astronaut to be subjected to disciplinary action, according to JAXA. He denied direct involvement in the fabrication or issuing related instructions.

Regarding his long-term mission on the International Space Station, expected to begin as early as this year, Furukawa said, “I believe it is my responsibility to perform my assigned duties thoroughly, and I hope to regain trust by doing so.”

The experiment, aimed at developing a stress assessment method for astronauts, was conducted in a closed-environment facility at Tsukuba Space Center in the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki on publicly solicited participants on five occasions between 2016 and 2017. It was canceled after a mix-up of specimen during the fifth session.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press