Lectures and Hands-on Training in a Variety of Fields
Areas 1 through 3 will be taught primarily by lectures but with some actual practice. Area 4 will be taught primarily by astronaut candidates actually performing or participating in specific tasks. JAXA's Basic Training for astronaut candidates will cover about 230 subjects and require about 1,600 hours of instruction.
Figure.1 is an example of Basic Training Flow.
1.Introduction, Basic Engineering and Outline of Space Systems
In this area, the astronaut candidates will learn the general principles of Life Sciences, Microgravity Science, Earth Observation, and Space Science for experiments and observations aboard ISS and for the related training. This includes not only receiving lectures, but also actually performing experiments and conducting observations. Lecturers will be those from various JAXA and university research centers.
3.ISS and Kibo Systems
Astronaut candidates will learn outlines of on-orbit ISS system operations and utilization. After completing basic training, astronauts will enter the advanced training and increment-specific training phases (see the April article) where they will receive actual ISS system operation and utilization training using training facilities. They will also conduct training to master operating equipment and performing experiments on orbit. The training will also provide Japanese astronaut candidates as much knowledge of Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) systems as possible.
4.Basic Ability Training
It is important for astronauts to maintain a good physical condition, so they will also learn to manage their own health and provide first aid. They will also undergo physical training regularly three times a week.
Astronauts will also receive "Crew Resource Management" training in which pilots learn to judge conditions in the cockpit, resolve problems, and make decisions. They will also be trained in photographic techniques for taking photographs from orbit, media relations training, radio communications in English, and pilot training.
There is also specialized training for astronauts. This includes survival training, EVA training, and hyperbaric (altitude) chamber training. Survival training is necessary in case of an emergency and they must return from space. It teaches techniques to survive in remote locations both on land and in the sea. EVA covers basic operations for activities outside the ISS. For this purpose, astronauts don a special "space suit" and train in a simulated weightless environment underwater (see Fig. 2). Hyperbaric (altitude) chamber training is provided in case astronauts experience a depressurization or a low-pressure environment.
Acquiring Basic Techniques of Manned Space Development through and with the Astronauts
The above astronaut training is a unique field in techniques needed for manned space development. This basic training that is actually being conducted by JAXA for the first time is very significant for advancing Japanese space development. Furthermore, by training Japanese astronaut candidates in Japan, Japan will accumulate training experience and Japanese people will feel closer to the astronauts because they will be training with them.
However, because there are fewer astronaut trainees in JAXA than in NASA, the astronauts in Japan will have fewer opportunities to encourage and support each other and to acquire knowledge of various fields. For this purpose, Japanese astronauts training in Japan should mingle with senior Japanese astronauts training in NASA Houston as much as possible and with astronauts of other countries. Furthermore, JAXA hopes to develop Japanese astronauts with wide perspectives. In this way, the basic training in Japan will be a very significant means of accumulating experience for trainers also.
Last Updated : May. 20, 1999