Koichi Wakata in Space! (REALTIME INTRAGLOBAL COMM CHECK)
Updates from Low Earth Orbit
JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata (Wiki here), the newly installed Commander of the International Space Station, is an excellent space resource. From 250 miles (400km) above the earth in his ISS residence, he broadcasts entertaining and informative Tweets and photos, and, in cooperation with other ISS crew members and JAXA staff here on the ground, produces weekly, bi-lingual YouTube updates.
JAXA's ISS YouTube Update Vol. 24:
Due to like, you know, being in space and all, video production and delivery times can vary, and there's sometimes a bit of a backlog and or time delay (and the ISS has been super busy for the past month or so... new commander, switching from mission 38 to 39, various space stuff, etc.). So, there's been a bit of a delay for JAXA delivering Vol. 24, but hey - if the Commander of the ISS is busy, then the Commander of the ISS is busy, right?!
In Vol. 24, Commander Wakata is working with JAXA and NASA ground staff at the Tsukuba Space Center and Johnson Space Center, respectively, to test an amazing satellite relay communication system. Imagine a near-realtime conversation between someone in Japan, another person in the middle of the United States, and another guy floating really, really far above the earth going 17,000 MPH (27,000 KPH).
Well, actually - you don't have to imagine it. Just watch. The system is fleshed out with some nice cutesy graphics and an easy-for-all-ages explanation of how Commander Wakata is able to converse with two of the ISS's managing organizations simultaneously (we're sure they can dial Russia in as well, but maybe they were sleeping at the time).
Multimedia: JAXA; NASA; FSA; Koichi Wakata
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