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JAXA Astronaut Activity Report

JAXA Astronaut Activity Report, February 2012

Last Updated: April 9, 2012

This is JAXA's Japanese astronaut primary activity report for February, 2012.

Astronaut Hoshide continues training in Japan and Russia for upcoming ISS expedition mission

Hoshide confirming the operation to change Kibo's JEMRMS joints (Credit: JAXA)

Hoshide confirming the operation to change Kibo's JEMRMS joints (Credit: JAXA)

Hoshide simulating JEMRMS operation (Credit: JAXA)

Hoshide simulating JEMRMS operation (Credit: JAXA)

In early February, Astronaut Hoshide, assigned as a crew member for ISS Expedition 32/33, completed training on the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) in Japan. Then from mid to late February, Hoshide visited the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) and underwent training on the Soyuz spacecraft and the Russian segment of the ISS.

At the TKSC, Hoshide reviewed each subsystem of Kibo. Hoshide received training on the procedure for changing the joints of Kibo's robotic arm, the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), and the airlock operations necessary to transfer the JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).

Astronaut Hoshide also reviewed the scientific and medical experiments to be conducted in orbit, as well as the operation of Kibo's onboard experiment equipment.

Later, in an effort involving the JAXA Flight Control Team (JFCT), Hoshide simulated JEMRMS operation together with astronaut Christopher Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn. As a result, Hoshide and JFCT managed to strengthen mutual collaboration.

Hoshide further confirmed the onboard crew tasks as pertaining to operations of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) "KOUNOTORI."

ISS Expedition 32/33 crew members training at the GCTC (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

ISS Expedition 32/33 crew members training at the GCTC (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

At the GCTC in Russia, Hoshide reviewed the knowledge and skills he had acquired regarding the Soyuz spacecraft and the Russian segment of the ISS. He also ran many simulations in preparing for various abnormal situations that might occur during in-orbit flight.

Specifically, Hoshide simulated the proper response to fire and depressurization in the Russian segment. In simulating a scenario of uncontrollable fire that forces the crew to evacuate the Soyuz spacecraft, Hoshide donned the Sokol space suit and wore a gas mask to confirm the procedure in case of ballistic re-entry with gravitational acceleration of up to 8-9g, which is double that of nominal re-entry.

With regard to the Soyuz spacecraft, Hoshide trained under a scenario where after the spacecraft enters its initial trajectory, the nitrogen gas used to cool the avionics equipment leaks from the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module, thereby forcing the crew to make an emergency descent. He even trained to respond to such continuous anomalies as engine failure.

Hoshide also mastered the airlock operations for the Pirs docking compartment, and received an overview of the Orlan space suits to be donned when conducting the Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA).

With less than half a year until our launch, I am now undergoing refresher training to maintain and improve my techniques and knowledge. I am also practicing the actual operation of planned experiments, as well as collecting medical data to be compared with in-orbit medical data.

In addition to my crewmates, I also try to deepen cooperation with the flight control team on the ground.

I very much look forward to returning to Kibo!

Astronaut Wakata trains in Russia for upcoming ISS expedition mission

Astronaut Wakata, assigned as a crew member for ISS Expedition 38/39, received training on the Soyuz spacecraft and Russian segment of the ISS at the GCTC. Wakata also participated in Russian survival training. Wakata mainly received training on motion control and the navigation system of the Soyuz spacecraft. Through lectures and by using a simulator, he deepened his understanding regarding each stage of spacecraft operation, from the initial trajectory to docking at the ISS.

Wakata simulates operation for Soyuz rendezvous with the ISS (Credit:JAXA/GCTC)

Wakata simulates operation for Soyuz rendezvous with the ISS (Credit:JAXA/GCTC)

Wakata (left) posing with other participants in survival training (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

Wakata (left) posing with other participants in survival training (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

In a simulated off-nominal situation where an infrared horizon sensor (used to determine attitude) experiences system failure, Wakata manually controlled attitude in different ways, such as by obtaining information from the control panel and by using the periscope. He also practiced re-entry operations, thereby confirming the operating procedure for each system and monitoring the status of the Soyuz spacecraft.

From February 13 to 15, Wakata participated in survival training together with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Turin and NASA astronaut Richard Mastracchio.

Wakata engaged in survival training (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

Wakata engaged in survival training (Credit:JAXA/GCTC)

The purpose of this training is to learn necessary survival skills under the severe conditions of winter, in case the Soyuz spacecraft is forced to make an emergency landing at an unpredictable point, thus possibly requiring two or three days to conduct search and rescue operations.

Prior to training, the participants received a lecture on safety and reviewed the proper procedures for changing from the Sokol spacesuit into a snowsuit in the Descent module, using a survival kit, building a shelter, and making fire.

In cooperating with each other from the time they landed until the rescue unit arrived, Wakata and the other participants spent three days and two nights outdoors and at a training facility, in a severe environment under subzero temperatures ranging from -8 to -33oC.

Astronaut Noguchi participates in testing on "KOUNOTORI" at TNSC

Noguchi participates in the FCIT (Credit: JAXA)

Noguchi participates in the FCIT (Credit: JAXA)

Astronaut Noguchi visited the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) in mid-February to participate in the Flight Crew Interface Test (FCIT) on the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI3" (HTV3).

An FCIT is conducted from the perspective of experienced astronauts in order to validate the onboard equipment and ensure that astronauts can perform in-orbit maintenance tasks without difficulty.

The FCIT was conducted from February 16 to 17. Noguchi checked the onboard tools in the pressurized logistics carrier to be used in orbit, confirming both usage and accessibility. Noguchi also checked whether the labels attached inside the carrier were properly positioned. He later verified the presence of sharp edges by running his hands over the carrier to check for any sharp edges that could possibly injure the astronauts.

Prior to the FCIT, Noguchi encouraged all the TNSC engineers involved in KOUNOTORI3, and then they all prayed together for its successful launch.

Astronaut Yui continues his intensive Russian language program

Yui receives Russian language training (Credit: JAXA)

Yui receives Russian language training (Credit: JAXA)

Continuing from January, Astronaut Yui stayed in Russia and pursued an intensive Russian language program.

In addition to teaching the Russian language, this program is also intended to acquaint students with the Russian culture for ensuring smooth communication and collaboration with Russian cosmonauts on future ISS expedition missions.

Yui visited a history museum and an art museum as part of his cultural study. By immersing himself in an environment where he can feel Russian customs and understand how the Russian people think in real life, Yui truly deepened his understanding of Russia.

 
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