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JAXA Astronaut Activity Report

JAXA Astronaut Activity Report, November 2011

Last Updated: January 13, 2012

This is JAXA's Japanese astronaut primary activity report for November, 2011.

Astronaut Furukawa returns to Earth after spending a five and a half-month mission aboard the ISS

Furukawa returns to Earth (with Astronaut Noguchi behind) (Credit: JAXA/NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Furukawa returns to Earth (with Astronaut Noguchi behind) (Credit: JAXA/NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Astronaut Furukawa returned to Earth on November 22, concluding his Expedition 28/29 mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

From the viewpoint of a medical doctor and a scientist, Furukawa devoted himself to working on the ISS, conducting various scientific and medical experiments in Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module, as well as those of other international partners and various other activities.

Prior to Furukawa's landing, Astronaut Noguchi had flown to the anticipated landing site in Kazakhstan to support Furukawa. Noguchi assisted Furukawa to emerge from the Soyuz Descent Module and accompanied him back to Kostanay Airport.

Thanks to all the support of the concerned parties in Japan, the international partners from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Russia, and the encouragement of everyone, I accomplished the five and a half-month mission. I can't thank all of you enough.

During the mission aboard the ISS, we worked with the last space shuttle mission and conducted various scientific and medical experiments. Not everything was perfect at the start, but we got through via teamwork with fellow crew members and ground controllers.

For future expedition missions by Japanese astronauts, Hoshide will commence a stay on the ISS next summer, and Wakata will stay there at the end of 2013. Your continued support for Japanese astronauts would be greatly appreciated. I am returning to Japan for a while in January 2012, and look forward to seeing you and reporting on our mission.

Astronaut Hoshide continues his training in the ESA and in Russia

Astronaut Hoshide, assigned as an International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 32/33 crew member, continues training for his upcoming mission.

At the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Germany, Hoshide received training in the operation of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).

The 29S backup crew takes its final examination on the Soyuz TMA-03M (from left Sunita Williams, Yuri Malenchenko, Akihiko Hoshide)

The 29S backup crew takes its final examination on the Soyuz TMA-03M (from left Sunita Williams, Yuri Malenchenko, Akihiko Hoshide)

After completing the training in the ESA, Hoshide moved to Russia to be fully prepared in case he is needed to fly instead of the 29S prime crew, as he is one of the backup crew members for the Expedition 30/31 mission.

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia, Hoshide and the other two backup crew members reviewed the Soyuz TMA-03M system, the operations for each flight phase, and the Russian segments of the ISS. They also simulated daily routine works on the ISS.

On November 29 and 30, both main and backup crew separately took a day-long final assessment test for the Soyuz spacecraft and the Russian segment of the ISS. Both passed.

Twitter (@Aki_Hoshide)

Astronaut Yui participates in the International Lunar Research Park Leaders' Summit

Astronaut Yui participated in the 2011 International Lunar Research Park Leaders' Summit (ILRP) held from November 13-17, in Hawaii, U.S.

The ILRP promotes the largest international project in human history, targeting the construction of a human research facility on the moon, in cooperation with government entities and companies from all over the world.

During the summit, Yui introduced Japan's lunar exploration achievement and future plans and discussed the importance of lunar exploration. Yui also deepened exchanges with representatives of participating groups.

Astronaut Kanai trained in Russia for the Soyuz Spacecraft and Russian segment

Astronaut Kanai received training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia, regarding the Soyuz spacecraft and the Russian segment of the ISS.

As it was the first time for Kanai to train in Russia, Kanai and training instructors met to get acquainted with each other, toured the training facility, and commenced the introduction to the Russian segment.

Regarding the Russian segment, Kanai learned an overview of the computer system and the control system of each piece of hardware. Kanai received lectures and practiced using a mockup (a full-scale training facility) of units such as the active thermal control system, the communication system, and life support devices such as the water supply system and toilet. In addition, Kanai also practiced changing from the Sokol spacesuit to the snowsuit in the cramped Descent Module.

Lectures on the Soyuz spacecraft focused on how to survive after landing in case of an aborted launch and descent anomaly. He learned how to use the survival kit onboard the spacecraft and survive in the forest and in winter, as well as the medical aspects of winter survival.

Astronaut Mukai chairs the 57th Japan Society of Aerospace and Environmental Medicine

From November 24-26, the 57th Japan Society of Aerospace and Environmental Medicine (JSASEM) met at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) and the Tsukuba International Congress Center. For the society, Astronaut Mukai, who has been at the forefront of the research for Aerospace Medicine for many years, chaired the event.

The society theme was "Beneficial Aerospace Medicine." Mukai presided over the lectures and symposiums and also gave a lecture entitled "What has been learned from human space flight and the future."

During the meeting, JAXA Space Biomedical Research Office reported that they had started research into new exercising methods because the current exercise protocol was energy-consuming and led to weight loss, which might have a negative impact on long-duration missions. Other reports included research into immune system compromise after space flight.

They also reported on investigations into whether space radiation affected the nutritional ingredients of Japanese space food, by storing it for an extended period and introduced their Mission X, giving pupils exercise lessons and lectures concerning astronauts' health management.

Astronauts Yui, Onishi, and Kanai Graduate from the 2009 Astronaut Class

Members of the 2009 Astronaut Class (Credit: JAXA/NASA)

Members of the 2009 Astronaut Class (Credit: JAXA/NASA)

Astronauts Yui, Onishi, and Kanai officially graduated from the Astronaut Candidate Training, the 2009 NASA Astronaut Class (Group 20) together with the other classmates from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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