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Basic Training Report, June 1999

Primary training subjects of June

In June, the astronaut candidates (ASCANs Furukawa, Hoshide, and Sumino) attended aerospace engineering lectures on navigation, guidance, and control, communications, etc.. They also participated in a facility tour of Tsukuba Space Center, hands-on technical training, and swimming training. Since water survival training in Russia is scheduled in July, they received an intensive course on Russian language in the end of June.

The Tsukuba Space Center Facility Tour, hands-on technical training, and swimming training will be reported here.

In the classroom

Tsukuba Space Center Facility Tour

The three ASCANs took a look at actual satellite operations and Tsukuba Space Center facilities related to the lectures they have received. The facilities included the Research and Development Building, tracking and control facilities for satellites, vacuum chamber and vibration test facilities, a facility where components such as space-dedicated batteries are developed, and the Tracking and Control Room for Engineering Test Satellite 7 (Orihime/Hikoboshi).

Research and Development Building Central Tracking and Control Station Space Network Test Facility
Battery Evaluation and Test Facility Engineering Test Satellite 7 (Orihime/Hikoboshi) Operations and Control room

Hands-on Technical Training (Making Geiger counters)

The ASCANs have been receiving electric and electronics introductory lectures. To conclude the series of lectures, they made Geiger counters. A Geiger counter is an instrument that counts the number of radioactive particles. When it detects a radioactive particle, it activates a buzzer or meter. They learned how to use the tools first and then set up off the shelf kits. As the training progressed, they acquired necessary skills and successfully completed their tasks.

ASCAN Furukawa ASCAN Hoshide ASCAN Sumino Testing their products ASCANs and instructors

Swimming training

Swimming training was conducted to check whether the ASCANs possess sufficient swimming skills required in case of an emergency. In swimsuits, they used breaststroke, backstroke and sidestroke for 25m each. Wearing flight suits and tennis shoes, they then swam 75m with either the breast or sidestroke, floated for 10 minutes face up, then treaded water for 10 minutes. Since they have been constantly training to improve their physical strength, they were able to perform all the demanding tasks easily.

ASCAN Furukawa
ASCAN Hoshide
ASCAN Sumino
After the training

ASCANs' comments after the training

ASCAN Furukawa
I enjoyed this emergency training and I hope we never have to use it.

ASCAN Hoshide
This was my first experience swimming in a flight suit. It is very important to make sure we have the necessary skills in case of an emergency. It was a little tiring, but I enjoyed it.

ASCAN Sumino
In a flight suit, the resistance of water was stronger than I anticipated, which made me tired. However, I found that my body floated better than in a swimsuit! I found this training was very useful.

The next report will be issued in the middle of August.

Last Updated : August. 6, 1999

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