More than 70 countries participate and develop experiments and research in various fields of studies,
making use of the special environment that features microgravity,
a high vacuum, a good field of vision, high radiation, etc.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a manned facility orbiting about 400 km above the earth.
As an international megaproject involving 15 countries, including Japan, the US, Russia, Canada, and European countries, it launched in 2008 after ten years of construction work that began at the end of the last century. Since then, the ISS has played many important roles as a platform for science and technology research, and also as a symbol of world peace and international cooperation for more than ten years.
In preparation for the coming age of international manned space exploration, its role and significance are now being reviewed and reconfirmed.
The ISS is also used by member countries in various ways for the education of young people, who will lead the future of humanity.
The Space Education Center operates an education program under the title of JAXA Space Station Educational Science Experiment to nurture three groups of seeds: seeds that traveled in space, seeds harvested on Earth, and seeds irradiated on Earth.
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Another educational program by the Space Education Center is to nurture second-generation sunflower seeds harvested from seeds stored on the ISS for nearly nine months, as a way to experience space in an indirect manner.