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JAXA Astronaut Activity Report

JAXA Astronaut Activity Report, September 2007

Last Updated: November 21, 2007

This is JAXA's Japanese astronaut primary activity report for September 2007.

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 18 Operations Training

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Astronauts Wakata (left) and Noguchi (right) simulating ISS operation activities in the Unity (Node 1) module mockup

Astronauts Wakata and Noguchi, along with NASA astronaut Timothy Creamer, an Expedition 18 back-up crew member, participated in a training session that simulated International Space Station (ISS) operation activities at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC).

This training session simulated the actual ISS operations by using the ISS full-scale mockup, with the instructors acting as the ISS flight controllers at the Mission Control Center. Over a four-hour period, the astronauts simulated the activities that the ISS Expedition 18 crew may undertake while on orbit.

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Astronaut Wakata simulating operation activities in the Unity (Node 1) module mockup

During the training session, the astronauts, while communicating with the simulated Mission Control Center, followed their timelines and completed their respective assigned tasks. Astronaut Wakata simulated using the amateur ham radio and checked and verified the Environment Control and Life Support (ECLS) equipment. Astronaut Noguchi simulated checking and verifying the ISS equipment spare parts inventory and inspected the Portable Fire Extinguishers (PFEs).

I have been undergoing ISS Expedition operations training with astronaut Wakata since last year.
Our second year of training is more practical in that there are more simulation training sessions than in the first year of training, which entailed more lecture-based training. Astronauts Wakata, Timothy Creamer and I participated in this training session. Each of us followed our timelines and completed our own assigned tasks, including communicating with the simulated Mission Control Center. I could really get a feel for what the actual ISS operations will be like.

Space Shuttle Emergency Escape Training

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Astronauts Hoshide (foreground) and Michael Fossum (background) seated in the Middeck in the Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT-2).

Astronaut Hoshide and his fellow 1J (STS-124) mission crew members participated in space shuttle emergency egress training at JSC.

A full-scale space shuttle mockup was used for the training. Astronaut Hoshide and his fellow astronauts donned their orange flight suits (shuttle launch and entry suits), and reviewed the emergency egress procedures used to escape from the space shuttle during an emergency abort, while the shuttle is in a controlled glide flight or upon landing.

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Astronaut Hoshide simulating emergency egress techniques by descending down a rope from the simulated aft Flight Deck window.

For evacuation training after the shuttle has landed, the astronauts simulated emergency egress through the side hatch by using the Emergency Egress Slide (EES). The astronauts also simulated escaping through the Aft Flight Deck overhead window by repelling down a rope, in the event that the shuttle’s hatch cannot be opened.

The crew also reviewed the In-flight Crew Escape System procedures. The air pressure inside and outside of the crew compartment needs to be equalized before the hatch is opened. Once the hatch is opened, the astronauts escape from the shuttle by sliding down an escape pole. During the training, the astronauts simulated equalizing the air pressure, opening the hatch, and deploying the escape pole, which provides the trajectory that enables the astronauts to avoid the shuttle’s left wing while bailing out of the shuttle.

Extravehicular Activity Tools Training

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Astronaut Wakata fastening bolts using PGT

At JSC, astronauts Wakata and Noguchi participated in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) tool training and practiced operating the EVA tools.

To simulate using the EVA tools in a weightless environment, astronauts Wakata and Noguchi were suspended from a crane during the training session.

The training included how to control their bodies while using the powered Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) while tightening or loosening a bolt. While using the PGT in a weightless environment, the body can pivot and turn in the same direction as the torque from the PGT.

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