Providing Information on Space Development of the World Through the Internet

Today, the Internet has been indispensable for getting the latest news. This is no different for
the field of space development. However, the individuals putting up a personal Web page are limited in
the information that they can provide because their major news sources are also limited.
One site that deserves particular attention is “SpaceRef”, a site that specializes in providing information on
space development. This month we interviewed the Web master of SpaceRef LP, Japan, Kyosuke Murakawa.

Interviewer: What type of orga-
nization is SpaceRef?
Murakawa: SpaceRef is more or
less organized as a company.
There is a company called
SpaceRef in the U. S. , and you
can think of my site as the one
operated by the branch office in
Japan. In actual fact, I, myself,
run the Japan SpaceRef site.
Interviewer: What then are the
business activities at

Murakawa: In simple terms, our
company is mainly engaged in
providing news about space
development, exchanging information
with the SpaceRef in the
U. S.

Interviewer: What made you
first become interested in space?

Murakawa: Well, basically I have always liked space. When
I was in the second grade, I came across a book named
“Lunar Exploration”. Ever since then I was hooked on
space. Even though I was studying architecture, I was fairly
future-oriented. Then, thirteen years ago, I heard that
the University of Houston had opened a space architecture
department, so I enrolled. I guess this was my first
encounter with space development in the true sense. And,
some of my classmates at the university are now involved
in the International Space Station and whatnot.

Interviewer: What kind of reactions have you received
since you have opened the Web site?

Murakawa: I’ve received an email from people amazed that
the single word “space” can encompass such a broad field,
and even an inquiry as to where they can study space architecture.
I think that would be good to be a Web site like
ours providing extensive information that people can’t easily
find in the general media (laughs).

Interviewer: From your broad perspective on space development, how do you view the state of Japan’s space program?

Murakawa: Well, I suppose that Japan is still on the way to
find its own path. It seems that
we have not clarified what Japan
is aiming for in its space development.
When we think of our
original path, it will ultimately be
a manned flight. And, I hope that
Japan would work toward a
manned flight to Mars.

Editor’s Note
With the time required to translate
news articles and to upload them
to his site, Mr. Murakawa said that
he can’t even read articles that
interest him. However, he says
that the work itself allows him to
understand the overall process. In
today’s world where many people,
including those in the field of space, are becoming more specialized and know little about fields outside of their specialty,
the person like Mr. Murakawa would be very important.
SpaceRef is a Web site that is useful to not only people who
are simply fascinated in space as a hobby but also experts.
I think the site will provide great support for Japan’s space
development program.

The URL for SpaceRef (Japanese only) is.
http://www. spaceref. co. jp

“Fascinating aspect of space is its infinite possibilities”,
said Mr. Murakawa. Mr. Murakawa looking through the information materials at
NASDAi after the interview