The next generation of astronauts are currently sitting behind school desks around the country, but to them science is complicated and space is light years away. In July 2016, astronaut Takuya Onishi lifted off to the International Space Station. But interest in Japan’s space program was still waning.

JAXA and Google wanted to use this opportunity to emphasize the importance and relevance of science and make it exciting again. We wanted to inspire and educate the next generation of astronauts about JAXA’s scientific contributions onboard the International Space Station.

KIBO SCIENCE 360 is the first ever VR Cardboard Space Helmet that turns anyone into an astronaut. We used innovative technology in a hands-on way to bring space a little bit closer by combining the old tradition of origami and the new technology of VR.

The helmets are created from a single piece of cardboard and can be assembled like origami and customized. Google Cardboard is built into the visor and the accompanying VR app takes kids on an immersive mission, blasting them up to the ISS.

Inside the experience kids could conduct experiments alongside Takuya Onishi. They learnt about microgravity and how to operate the equipment used onboard the ISS. To launch this we sent helmets out to key science and technology influencers across Japan and even conducted a YouTube live stream with Onishi himself onboard the ISS from Tsukuba Space Station.


JAXA, Google


October 2016

Launch Site