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Friday, 12th June 2009
In General Japan News,

Japan and India to launch space algae research

The Japanese and Indian space agencies have announced that they are to collaborate on a new project to research photosynthesis in space.

Noriaki Ishioka, a professor from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), told AFP that JAXA and the Indian Space Research Organisation will be sending an unmanned satellite into space in October.

The objective of the mission will be to try and grow the algae spirulina aboard the satellite to study how the conditions affect growth, with the ultimate intention of using the data to inform future "space farming" projects.

Professor Ishioka said: "We will retrieve the satellite after a week or so and conduct genetic examinations on how the zero-gravity environment affects photosynthesis."

Earlier this week, another Japanese space project came to a dramatic conclusion when the Kaguya lunar orbiter completed its research mission with a crash-landing on the moon.

Written by Susan Ballion

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