Swordsmen in Atacama 2015

There are a wide variety of staff members working at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), including astronomers to support observations, engineers to conduct antenna maintenance and others. During break time, they play sports for recreation.

Yoshiharu Asaki, an associate professor at the NAOJ Chile Observatory, was invited by some international staff members to join a training session at the ALMA Kendo club. On the practice day, the atmospheric pressure at the OSF (2900 m asl.) was 720hPa, which was much lower than 1013hPa at sea level. Due to such difference of air pressure, the same level of exercise can be more strenuous to the body at a higher altitude with a decrease in oxygen level, but it doesn’t look like a problem for the staff member who have already accustomed to high altitude. They are having fun playing sports even in such difficult environmental conditions.

In the spirit of Kendo, politeness and the right frame of mind are highly valued along with the enhancement of technical skills. Asaki says, “As a Japanese swordsman, I was very impressed by international swordsmen practicing Kendo for their sincere efforts and respectful attitudes.” Asaki and swordsmen in Atacama promised to meet again and put up their swords for the day.

Tags : ALMA Topics