back to article JAXA: Research simulating life onboard ISS contained fabrications

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has released details of an investigation that alleged the results of an experiment simulating life on board the International Space Station were fabricated with large amounts of altered data. The $1.4 million experiment took place between 2016 and 2017 and included 42 participants …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Not a problem

    They can just make a game out of it. Sim ISS might be a good name.

    Or maybe ISS Tycoon.

  2. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Wider problem

    Even in that summary there are signs of a bigger issue. It reads like the researchers were given an impossible brief, in terms of time scales, with inadequate supervision. In other words, research done on the impossibly cheap on an industry that normally thinks in billions. So priorities?.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Wider problem

      It sounds to me like this was one application for funding that was sent out probably with dozens of others, with no one actually expecting it to get funded. When it did get funded, it was handed off to a couple of junior researchers, they were told to get on with it and not to bother management or anyone senior. Those junior researchers had problems, got no support, messed things up, and tried to cover it up. And this is what you get.

      It doesnt look good on anyone at JAXA...

      1. Little Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Wider problem

        I'm inclined to agree with you regarding Junior researchers - Those are literally schoolboy errors. The "deficiencies in informed consent and Ethics Review Committee approval" did it for me - You'd be unlikely to negotiate that minefield correctly the first time without some experienced guidance.

        The falsification of data though - that's naughty no matter which way you look at it. No researcher goes down that road by accident.

        If I was the client I'd definitely be wanting my money back.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Wider problem

          Sorry I just want to be clear, I meant in no way to condone or excuse the falsification of data by the junior researchers, whether they were supported or not. That really is unforgiveable.

          Just that i can see how it would happen if no one is there to give them a good talking to if they even contemplated it...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wider problem

        This is why any credible research institution has an oversight process for funding applications that includes realistic costing/staffing estimates, ethical committee approval etc. The usual story is "Jones got the funding for the Machine That Goes Ping, but unfortunately didn't realise it would require a new building, so there's no money for XXXX this year". Sounds like JAXA needs to tighten up.

      3. Teejay

        Re: Wider problem

        So basically, like 50 percent of research, but this time it came out.

  3. Zenubi

    It's Life (Jim)

    But not as we know it.

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