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Astronaut Soichi Noguchi's Training Report for STS-114 Mission, #17
The night before the scheduled launch

Last Updated: July 27, 2005

One Day to Launch
(Photo Courtesy of NASA)

We are back at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). There is a Japanese proverb about the "Sunshine after the typhoon has gone." Just like that expression, we are having very hot Florida-like weather much like that after a hurricane.

In early May of 2005, we visited KSC for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). Two months have since passed with a launch delay in between. Both the Orbiter and her crew are better prepared than they were two months ago, and now we are 100% ready and anxiously waiting for tomorrow’s launch. According to the count-down clock it is eleven hours before the scheduled launch.

I was first assigned to this mission in April of 2001. This means we have been in training for more than four years. There is an excitement of experiencing the real launch, as well as, an indescribable feeling of finally reaching this point. The 178 weeks of training we have gone through is the longest on record for Space Shuttle training. There were 75 NBL underwater tests and over 38,009 hours of training involving all seven crew members.

The purpose of the STS-114 mission has changed from what it was prior to the Columbia accident. These past several months have been a period of continuing growing-pain like dilemmas with repetitions of very critical decisions. For the astronauts, as well as for everyone who has been part of this mission, there is a great feeling of satisfaction in overcoming the variety of difficulties that we have encountered. "It is time to fly!" is the common thought among us. It has taken a long time to prepare and now it is time to execute the mission.

Astronaut Noguchi showing his enthusiasm at a press conference
(Photo Courtesy of NASA)

This is the last of my training reports. To close this report, I would like to quote a slightly rearranged lyric by Makihara Noriyuki, my favorite artist.

I always believe in my words only
This serene journey is ending soon
Hold "Dream" in my heart and I shall go
For I shall be a light for everyone who follows

July 12, 2005
At Kennedy Space Center
STS-114 MS1/EV1
Noguchi Soichi

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