Koichi Wakata in Space - Back on Earth! (VIDEO)
Updates from Low Earth Orbit
JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata (Wiki here), the recently returned to Earth, former and first Japanese Commander of the International Space Station, is an excellent space resource. From 250 miles (400km) above the earth in his ISS residence, he broadcasted entertaining and informative Tweets and photos, and, in cooperation with other ISS crew members and JAXA staff here on the ground, produced weekly, bi-lingual YouTube updates.
Weekly Update Wrap-Up
During his most recent residence on the International Space Station, Astronaut Commander Koichi Wakata produced 27 weekly, bilingual updates aimed at educating both Japanese and English-speaking viewers about life aboard the station. We've been honored to share those videos, but we're sad to report that there are no more.
Throughout our coverage, we watched Commander Wakata operate a robotic arm, speak with Kirobo, the ISS's second humanoid robot and first with legs, speech, and a measure of autonomy, and we observed and learned about the various scientific investigations astronauts perform. We also learned about astronaut physical training not only by description but also demonstration, and we laughed over Commander Wakata's description of astronaut food choices (Russian canned meat is a big hit up there).
In Vol. 27, his last weekly update and a highly recommended watch, Commander Wakata spoke passionately about his experiences aboard the station and the profundity of simply looking out the window and orbiting the entire planet every 90 minutes.
Back to Earth: Debriefing the Commander
Until he gets himself aboard another rocket, our Koichi Wakata in Space! series is at an end. In a fitting wrap for us both, Commander Wakata sits down for an 8-minute debriefing with NASA's Dan Huot. He discusses the differences between his first and most recent residencies on the ISS, and the differences between blasting off in the Space Shuttle vs. a Russian Soyuz rocket.
This snapshot of a life lived partially off the planet, something only an extremely select few humans have done, is both inspiring and practically informative, and Commander Wakata's professional yet charmingly accessible demeanor shines through.
Multimedia: JAXA; NASA; FSA; Koichi Wakata
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