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The JAXA said it will shoulder the costs to be incurred in taking the seeds again to Japan's Kibo laboratory module in the September mission.
Missing are 120 grams of soybeans, hops and other seeds entrusted to JAXA by Leave a nest Co., a Tokyo-based science education venture which paid some 3 million yen to have the seeds taken into space for an 8-month storage period aboard the lab module.
The Discovery's voyage last month, by which the seeds were supposedly brought back to Earth, attracted much attention in Japan as it carried Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, who was in charge of checking the shuttle's cargo.
The Japanese venture had the seeds stored to implement a series of experiments for educational events at Japanese high schools after they were brought back to Earth, including comparing the growth of plants from those seeds with some that did not go into space, but has decided to put off the events.
JAXA official Yoshinori Yoshimura said he expects the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to charge JAXA "only hundreds of thousands of yen" to take plant seeds again into space, as the same kinds of seeds are to be sent, requiring no repetition of costly safety scrutiny.
Around July 1, the NASA will release a report detailing the results of its investigation into the missing seeds after completing hearings with an agent involved in the loading and the off-loading of the seeds to and from the shuttle, JAXA said. In late April, JAXA was notified by NASA that the seeds were missing despite records showing they were brought back to Earth by the shuttle.
Missing are 120 grams
JAXA was notified by NASA that the seeds were missing despite records showing they were brought back to Earth by the shuttle.