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JAXA Astronaut Activity Report

JAXA Astronaut Activity Report, June, 2014

Last Updated: August 5, 2014

This is JAXA’s Japanese astronaut activity report for June, 2014.

Astronaut Kimiya Yui undergoes training for his long-duration ISS mission

Continuing from May, Astronaut Kimiya Yui, who was assigned as a crew member for the Expedition 44/45 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), underwent training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) until June 6 and then moved to the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) to be trained for the ISS.

At the GCTC, along with Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Yui performed the Soyuz spacecraft operation simulation and emergency response simulation in the Russian segment in preparation for fire, sudden depressurization and toxic spills.

At the JSC, he trained to respond to emergencies in the ISS U.S. segment as well as Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and IMAX camera operation.

During the EVA training, Yui underwent a skills test which included a procedure to rescue incapacitated EVA crew.

He also confirmed an exercise procedure of NASA’s SPRINT experiment, which evaluates the use of high-intensity, low-volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function during long-duration ISS missions.

Astronaut Takuya Onishi undergoes water-survival training in Russia

Astronaut Takuya Onishi, who was assigned as a crew member for the ISS Expedition 48/49 mission, underwent training for the Soyuz spacecraft’s motion-control, life-support and docking systems at the GCTC in Russia.

Among the series of training for the Soyuz spacecraft, the training for the motion-control and life-support systems in particular involved a number of learning requirements.


Onishi and other participants pose for a photo during the water-survival training (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)


Onishi igniting a flare for a rescue team (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

From June 30, Astronaut Onishi underwent water-survival training held in the EMERCOM facility in Noginsk, a Moscow suburb, along with Russian Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.

This training is held in the event of a Soyuz spacecraft making an emergency landing on water, e.g. at sea due to trouble affecting the Soyuz spacecraft or an emergency return from the ISS. In the event of a spacecraft encountering trouble or an emergency return, the spacecraft’s nominal landing point cannot be guaranteed. Such training reflects the fact that the spacecraft may land on water, which covers the majority of the Earth’s surface.

Attired in Sokol training suits, the trio boarded the Soyuz descent module mockup floating on the water and practiced changing to waterproof snowsuits and the procedure for escaping from the module; carrying the necessary equipment with them. After escaping from the module, they practiced how to establish a trilateral formation on water and use their survival kit, including a flare.

Astronaut Koichi Wakata attends a debriefing session and a Welcome Home Ceremony


Wakata delivering a speech at the Welcome Home Ceremony in Russia (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who returned to Earth in May after accomplishing his ISS long-duration mission, is currently undergoing debriefing sessions with related officials regarding the results of his mission as well as post-flight rehabilitation and medical checkup at the JSC.

In early June, Wakata visited Russia where he and his crewmates, Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Turin and NASA Astronaut Richard Mastracchio, attended the debriefing session and Welcome Home Ceremony in Star City.


The Expedition 38/39 crew poses for a photo after paying a floral tribute to the statue of Yuri Gagarin as part of the post-flight tradition (Credit: JAXA/GCTC)

During the ceremony, the Expedition 38/39 crew’s achievement was commemorated by representatives of each International Partner (IP) and Russian officials. Wakata delivered a speech in Russian and extended his gratitude to all those involved in their mission. In his speech, he expressed his current feeling with the words “I feel like I’m graduating and completing a long-term examination.”

As part of the ceremony, a traditional event was held paying floral tribute to the statue of Yuri Gagarin and reporting the safe return to him.

After returning to the U.S. in mid-June, Wakata reported on his mission to the general public between his debriefing sessions and medical checkups.

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