Selective Excellence

Japan may not have as large a space program as might be expected given the size of its economy. However this is due not to a lack of technological prowess, but to a lack of political will and funding. Donald Yeomans, a senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has worked with a number of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) engineers over the years and says he's consistently impressed by what they accomplish on a small budget: "They are not simply doing the easy things. They are ambitious and challenging themselves to develop new technologies, and they...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!