Helping celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Canada-Japan Science and Technology Cooperation, distinguished Japanese astronaut Dr. Mamoru (Mark) Mohri, currently the chief executive director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo is visiting Canada - right now, in fact!
Mohri is performing at a few speaking engagements and events to be held in various venues in Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver from September 20 - 24, 2011.
He was in Montreal on September 20, 201, speaking at the famous McGill University and then at the Canada Space Agency. The next day on September 21, he spoke at Otttawa's Canada Aviation and Space Museum as well as Canadian Museum of Civilization. Coming up on September 24, I have only been able to determine that Mohri will be in Vancouver - why is there no proper advertising for this event... and why did he not make an appearance in Canada's most populated city, Toronto... where I live? I would have loved to have interviewed him!
Mohri was born on January 29, 1948 in Yoichi-shi, Hokkaido-ken, Japan. He has degrees in chemistry from Hokkaido University and a honourary Doctorate from Flinders University in Australia. As a nuclear engineering guy at Hokkaido University, he did a lot of work on nuclear fusion-related projects. He has also done a lot of work in the field of materials and vacuum sciences.
He is a former NASDA (National Space Development Agency of Japan) astronaut and was traoined as a payload specialist for a Japanee materials science payload.
Mohri has also flown on mission STS-47 in 1992 as its chief payload specialist for Spacelab-J, and then on mission STS-99 in 1999, spending a total of 459 hours in space performing pioneering experiments. In space, he developed a 3D map of Earth and hosted a 'Space Classroom' that was broadcast live to classrooms across Japan.
Among his many honours, Mohri has been a recipient of the Special Award from the Japanese Prime Minister and the NASA Honor Award, as well as being appointed an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.
He also has a Diplome pilote-cosmonaute de l' URSS V.M. Komarov and Japan Society of Aeronautical and Space Sciences Commendation for Technology (1993). Special award for Contributions to the Japan Society of Microgravity Application (1994). Distinguished Achievement Award in Space Biology from the Japanese Society for Space Biology, and the Space Engineering Award from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering (1995).
So... if you are out on the left coast of Canada on September 24, 2011, and can figure out where Mohri is (this is a courtesy heads-up), then go and hear him talk. I'm sure it will be fascinating.
Oh yeah - look at the photo above. Don't you just love how a blog celebrating Canada and Japan has Mohri standing in front of a US and Japan set of flags?! That photo was USED in the Canadian ads for this event. Yeesh.
Uhhh.. Houston.... this is Rifer here in Toronto... The Japan-Canada mission is all-systems go. Over.
Roger that. Over.
Somewhere always wishing I could fly a-way up above the world so high,
Andrew Ziggy Stardust Joseph