Pale Blue

THE TEAM

Founders

  • CEO & Co-Founder Jun Asakawa, Ph.D.

  • CTO & Co-Founder Hiroyuki Koizumi, Ph.D.

  • Co-Founder and Board Director Kazuya Yaginuma, Ph.D.

  • Co-Founder and Board Director Yuichi Nakagawa, Ph.D.

Engineers

  • Akira Iwakawa, Ph.D.

  • Atsushi Shimizu

  • Daiki Tomita

  • Hiroto Saito

  • Hiroyuki Takagi

  • Masaya Shiotsuki

  • Shinji Taniguchi

  • Shogo Kameyama

  • Takeo Kikuchi

  • Yoshihiro Yamashiro

  • Pierre Ominetti

  • Shintaro Yamanishi

  • Mika Aotani

  • Masataka Araki

Business Development

  • Toku Sakai

  • Emily Okuhara

Corporate

  • Koji Fujiwara

  • Yuki Tahara

  • Cedric Sootho

  • Emi Hayasaka

  • Yoko Nakayama

  • Hiromi Kawabata

CEO & Co-Founder Jun Asakawa, Ph.D.

Introduction
Born 1991, Kochi Prefecture (Japan).
Bachelor's degree, University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering (2014).
Master's degree, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2016).
PhD, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2019)
After working as an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, founded Pale Blue in April 2020 as CEO.
Research accomplishments include developing propulsion system for Procyon Probe (world's first deep space microsatellite), AQT-D Satellite (water propulsion system), EQUULEUS satellite (water propulsion system) and other small satellite/spacecraft.

Why did you start Pale Blue?
Based on the research I conducted at the University of Tokyo, I found immense practical applications for the technical breakthroughs we were making. I saw a unique opportunity to meet incredible growing commercial demand in a way that clearly contributed to human and societal progress which felt undeniably meaningful.
What philosophy guides you in your work?
To confront anything and everything head on.
What is a personal motto you live by?
Ultimately, everything works out.
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
I'd like to contribute to and see further deep space exploration.

CTO & Co-Founder Hiroyuki Koizumi, Ph.D.

Introduction
Born 1977, Tokyo (Japan).
Bachelor's degree, Keio University Faculty of Engineering (2000).
Master's degree, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2002).
PhD, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2006)
Assistant Professor at JAXA and Associate Professor at University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences as a specialist in plasma-based spacecraft propulsion.
Currently heads the University of Tokyo Frontier Energy Research Laboratory.
Research accomplishments include developing propulsion system for Hodoyoshi-4, Procyon Probe (world's first deep space microsatellite), EQUULEUS satellite (water propulsion system) and other small satellite/spacecraft.
Co-Founded Pale Blue in April 2020 as CTO. International joint research as an academic guest at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) from 2021.
Visiting Associate Professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) from 2022.
Awards: IEPC 2015 Best Paper Award, Awards for Science and Technology of the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2017)
Why did you start Pale Blue?
To accelerate human activity in and exploration of space with new innovation propulsion technology.
What philosophy guides you in your work?
To understand and apply first principles
What is a personal motto you live by?
"If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it well enough”
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
To contribute to human exploration and visit of Neptune

Co-Founder and Board Director Kazuya Yaginuma, Ph.D.

Introduction
Born 1991, Fukushima Prefecture (Japan).
Bachelor's degree, University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering (2014).
Master's degree, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2016).
PhD, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2019)
After working as a project assistant researcher at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, co-founded Pale Blue in April 2020 as a propulsion engineer.
Research accomplishments include developing propulsion system for Procyon Probe (world's first deep space microsatellite), AQT-D Satellite (water propulsion system), and other small satellite/spacecraft.
Why did you start Pale Blue?
I felt that despite the many rapid advancements happening for small satellites, propulsion technology was not advancing nearly as quickly. It was a clear bottleneck and one that I felt we could materially resolve with what we had been researching.
What philosophy guides you in your work?
To pursue improvement in a broad range of topics and skillsets so that you are not just a single item specialist.
What is a personal motto you live by?
What we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
To push the boundaries of human exploration and go over further than ever before.

Co-Founder and Board Director Yuichi Nakagawa, Ph.D.

Introduction
Born 1992, Ibaraki Prefecture (Japan).
Bachelor's degree, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2015).
Master's degree, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2017).
PhD, University of Tokyo Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2020)
After working as an project assistant researcher at the University of Tokyo , co-founded Pale Blue in April 2020 as a propulsion engineer.
Research accomplishments include developing propulsion system for Procyon Probe (world's first deep space microsatellite), AQT-D Satellite (water propulsion system), EQUULEUS satellite (water propulsion system) and other small satellite/spacecraft.

Why did you start Pale Blue?
To accelerate commercialization of the space domain and contribute to human exploration of the stars.
What philosophy guides you in your work?
Place great emphasis on communication and make sure we can always go back to first prinicples to find new ways to improve.
What is a personal motto you live by?
Pursue perpetual and incremental progress; become great at things you are currently weak on while ensuring you are continuing and maintaining your strengths
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
To contribute to our collective knowledge and pass that knowledge on to the next generation.