When I was a kid, I was told that my mother was from Mars, my father was from Venus, and they met on the Earth. I had believed it before I was educated at school that the story was wrong. That was the beginning that I started to wonder why human beings and any life forms exist only on the Earth, how our Earth formed, and what the difference between the Earth and other planets is. And that is a motive of my becoming a planetary scientist.

 Meteorites and returned samples from Apollo, Luna, Hayabusa and Stardust missions are all fragments of extraterrestrial bodies. Analyses of these samples give us clues of what the Moon, other planets, asteroid, and comets consist of, when they formed, and how similar or different they are from the Earth. Unlike returned samples, parent bodies of meteorites are not specified. Yet, their parent bodies can be broadly estimated by comparing meteorite data by laboratory analyses with ground-based telescopic data and spacecraft remote sensing data of extraterrestrial bodies.  In this lab, mineralogical analyses of variable classes of meteorites and Apollo/Luna samples, crystallization experiments, and remote sensing analyses of lunar and planetary missions are undertaken. Integration of such multidisciplinary approaches enables us to understand the solar system bodies in a range of spatial and temporal scales toward unraveling the origin and evolution of the Earth and the solar system. On the basis of the research outcome, we present mission proposals and develop science payloads for space missions.


May 07, 2014