Professor Junichiro Kawaguchi is a Professor at the School of Engineering.
Professor Kawaguchi has had a long and distinguished career in solar system exploration.
At the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Professor Kawaguchi was the Project Manager of the Hayabusa mission from 1996 until 2011, during which time he orchestrated the successful touchdown of a robotic spacecraft onto a near-Earth moving asteroid, Itokawa, and returned the sample back to Australia in 2010 for the first time.
He also participated in a variety of projects including Japan’s first planetary probes to comet Halley, Lunar Orbiter missions Hiten and GEOTAIL, Nozomi, and a Mars mission.
Professor Kawaguchi is also the founder of Ikaros, a world’s first solar sail demonstrator project launched in 2010. In addition to his work with JAXA, he has been a Professor in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Tokyo, was President of the Japan Society for Space and Astronautical Science, and also served as Secretary General at the Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy’s, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan. He has been a Full Member and a corresponding member at the Science Council of Japan, Government of Japan. He has been a Full Member, Board of Trustee at the International Academy of Astronautics.