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Basic Training Report, July 1999 @

In the first half of July, Astronaut Candidates (ASCANs) Furukawa and Hoshide participated in water survival training in Russia. In the latter half of July, the three ASCANs, including Ms. Sumino, toured the Tanegashima Space Center facility in southern Japan.

Water Survival Training held in Russia

The mather ship and return capsule
From July 2 to 9, ASCANs Furukawa and Hoshide participated in water survival training held at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia, and on the coast of the Black Sea. This is the first training held abroad as a part of their basic training.

In water survival training, they learned how to use survival kits while floating on the water, and also how to perform parachute landing on water.

On the deck of the mother ship used as the training base, the two ASCANs, wearing hydro-gloves, learned how to eat emergency food and fire emergency smoke markers; red smoke for the day time and flare for the night.

They boarded the return capsule simulator wearing pressurized suits used for launch and reentry,together with the instructor. The return capsule was lowered softly onto the sea by a crane. In the vehicle, they changed from the pressurized suit to a waterproof, warm suit. The capsule floated on the sea for two hours, during which it was intentionally swung to simulate rough water. After that, they evacuated from the capsule into the water with their survival kits. In the water they used an emergency signal pistol, smoke markers, and mirrors from the survival kits, and learned how to swim in the sea in such a situation.

They also performed evacuation without changing their suites in the vehicle and only with a floatation device, to simulate a more critical situation.

ASCANs and instructor in pressurized suits Descent Vehicle Simulator Inside Descent Vehicle Simulator
Evacuation from Descent Vehicle Simulator ASCAN Furukawa ASCAN Hoshide

The two ASCANs also received parachute training. First, they received a lecture about parachuting equipment and procedures. In the hands-on training, they were then hung by a crane located on the ceiling of the facility building and learned the procedure for water landing.

They then received training on water landing in the GCTC Hydrolaboratory, which is similar to the Weightless Environment Test System (WETS) at Tsukuba Space Center. They were trained to remove the parachuting equipment quickly, so that they can perform it smoothly in a real situation.

Landing in the Water
ASCAN Furukawa ASCAN Hoshide

@Here are their comments after the water survival training.

ASCAN Furukawa
Russian instructors are well organized professionals. The training was very useful. I appreciate everybody who cooperated in giving us such an opportunity. @
ASCAN Hoshide
I supported astronaut Noguchi last year during his training in Russia, so I was looking forward to this training. The training was hard, but it was a precious experience.

The Pad Service Tower
Tanegashima Space Center Facility Tour

Three ASCANs, including Ms. Sumino, visited Tanegashima Space Center, which is Japan's rocket launching facility, and Masuda Tracking and Communication Station, both of which are located in southern Japan. They took facility tours and observed facility operations.

At Tanegashima Space Center, they observed the Yoshinobu Launch Complex and the launch control building where launch preparations for H-II Launch Vehicle No. 8 were being conducted. They also visited the liquid engine test area where the LE-7A, the first stage engine of the H-IIA launch vehicle, is being tested.

At the Masuda Tracking and Communication Station, they observed the satellite tracking facility and learned how the satellites are being tracked.

Large-Scale Rocket Launcher Liquid Engine Test Area Masuda Tracking and Communication Station Operations Room Masuda Tracking and Communication Station

The next report will be issued in early September.

Last Updated : August. 18, 1999

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