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JAXA Astronaut Activity Report, May 2006

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This is JAXA's Japanese astronaut primary activity report for May 2006.

ATV and Columbus Training at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC)

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Astronaut Wakata receiving instructions. Astronaut Noguchi (center) and Astronaut Wakata (right) receiving instructions.

Astronauts Wakata and Noguchi participated in the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) training session held at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Germany,.  The ATV will transport supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).  The purpose of this training was to provide the astronauts with a thorough understanding of the ATV.  On this occasion, training on the ATV basic system was conducted.

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AAstronaut Noguchi training in the ATV mock-up

In addition to ATV training, Astronaut Noguchi received training on ESA's Columbus Laboratory.  Previously, Astronaut Wakata had also participated in this training.  The purpose of this training was to obtain an understanding of Columbus' basic systems.  Astronaut Noguchi received instructions on the Electrical Power Distribution System (EPDS) and on the Thermal Control System (TCS).  He also received training on the basic computer operations specific for Columbus and reviewed the layout of each instrument in the Columbus mock-up.

"In Japan, the month of May is often blessed with an early summer breeze, but in Germany, it was still very cold!  The temperature was only 3 degrees Celsius on the night that I arrived at the EAC, which is located in the suburbs of Cologne, Germany.  It was reminiscent of the time that I received training during the winter in Russia.  However, the temperature rose as the intense training progressed.  I enjoyed the fine and fresh weather of May during the latter portions of the training.
You cannot speak of spring in Germany without mentioning white asparagus.  It is a seasonal vegetable and is served in every restaurant.  It was fantastic to eat freshly boiled white asparagus with "Kölsch Beer," a Cologne specialty.

HTV Development Test

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Astronaut Wakata checking for interference between the EVA tools and the HCAM. Astronaut Wakata (center) verifying the locations where the tethers will be attached

Astronaut Wakata participated in the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Development Test held at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC).

The HTV Exposed Pallet (EP), which is used to transport exposed payloads, is equipped with the HTV Cargo Attachment Mechanism (HCAM).  The HCAM secures and detaches the exposed payloads.  As a back-up, the HCAM can be operated manually during an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) whenever remote operations of the HCAM cannot be performed due to in-orbit failures.  During this test session, Astronaut Wakata used the mock-up EP and simulated HCAM operations during an EVA.  He checked whether there were any interference problems between the EVA tools and the HCAM.

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HTV Configuration

In addition, a test that employed the Unpressurized Logistic Carrier (ULC) with a mock-up of the EP was also conducted.  When the HTV is in operation, the EP that transports the exposed payloads to the International Space Station (ISS) will be attached and secured into the ULC while in orbit.  In doing so, as a back-up for when the locking mechanisms fails to function properly, the tethers that are normally used to secure the payloads will be used to secure the EP.  During this test session, Astronaut Wakata utilized the tethers to secure the EP and verified the locations where the tethers will be attached.

Astronaut Noguchi's "Taishi Town's Honorary Citizen" Presentation Ceremony

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Astronaut Noguchi presenting the STS-114 Mission commemorative plaque to the mayor of Taishi Town.

Astronaut Noguchi was awarded the title of "Honorary Citizen" from the mayor of Taishi Town, Hyogo Prefecture, where Astronaut Noguchi had spent his childhood.  Astronaut Noguchi also gave a lecture titled "Only One—Always Dream to Go out into Space."  Approximately 900 people gathered at the Municipal Community Center, where the lecture was held.

At the beginning of the presentation ceremony, video footage of Astronaut Noguchi's childhood was shown. Astronaut Noguchi then made his entrance while the brass band club from Hyogo Prefecture Taishi High School played.  Astronaut Noguchi was awarded the title of "Honorary Citizen" from the Taishi Town mayor for Astronaut Noguchi's activities aboard the Space Shuttle "Discovery" and for completing a very important mission.  He was the fourth person to be awarded the Honorary Citizen title from Taishi Town.  Astronaut Noguchi presented the STS-114 Mission commemorative plaque to the Taishi Town mayor.

After the presentation ceremony, Astronaut Noguchi gave a lecture.  He introduced the beauty of Earth as viewed from space, and talked about his 15-day experience in space.  In addition, Astronaut Noguchi, who had his dreams of "going to space" come true; spoke about his new goal of "living in space."  At the end of his lecture, the audience asked many questions.

Last Updated: July 13, 2006

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