Japanese astronaut apologizes for research data fabrication
A Japanese astronaut on Thursday apologized for data fabrication and alternation in a research project that he oversaw over a decade ago.
"I keenly feel the responsibility for undermining trust. I sincerely apologize," Satoshi Furukawa, the 58-year-old astronaut, told a press conference.
Furukawa was responsible for an experiment conducted between 2016 and 2017 which aimed to examine how stress accumulates in the human body when ordinary people stay in a confined space for two weeks.
It was discovered that blood samples taken from the experiment's subjects were mixed up. The research was abandoned in 2019, and some data was later found to have been faked or altered, according to local media reports.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) determined that Furukawa was responsible for supervising the research and on Tuesday issued a disciplinary warning to the astronaut.
Furukawa, the third Japanese person to have completed a long-term mission in space, is scheduled to make his second stay on the International Space Station this year.
Some JAXA executives, including President Hiroshi Yamakawa, were also reprimanded over the case.