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Japan space agency says research team tampered with ISS experiment
by Matt Bernardini
Tokyo (UPI) Nov 26, 2022

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Japan's space agency said Friday that a research team had tampered with data from an experiment simulating life on the International Space Station.

The team, headed by astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, will be "appropriately" punished because he had a supervisory role in the experiment, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said.

The experiments occurred in 2016 and 2017 and involved 40 participants. They stayed in isolation chambers for two weeks to mimic what astronauts would face during planetary exploration. Researchers interviewed the subjects to assess their mental state.

However, JAXA said that two researchers compiled psychiatric assessments without conducting interviews and rewrote diagnoses.

The agency began to investigate the project after noticing discrepancies in the data.

Furukawa is due to start a long-term stay at the International Space Station in or after 2023. JAXA says the misconduct has no impact on the plan for now.

JAXA Vice President Hiroshi Sasaki said, "sloppy management of the experiment has damaged the credibility of (our) research data and the scientific value of research as a whole."

Source: United Press International

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