Happy New Year! This year marks the year of the launch into space of ASTRO-H and, as a good omen, the day began with a gorgeous sunrise over the launching point. Team members were inspired, witnessing the first rays of sunshine of the New Year. In the first picture, among the four steel lowers to the left, the launch pad for the H-II A rocket atop which ASTRO-H will be placed can be seen among the two rightmost towers. The white building to the side is where the rocket will be assembled. The building, aptly enough, is referred to as the “Large Rocket Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)”
Regions throughout Japan typically have a special dish for New Year’s day, and the dish in the village of South Tanegashima is a special kind of chicken soup made with chicken prepared in the unique local way. A special sweet soy sauce famous in the Kagoshima area is also used. The members ate well and are now prepared to work hard in the new year!