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Soichi Noguchi
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Message from Astronaut Noguchi (2001.4.25)

Hello everyone, I'm astronaut Noguchi.

I'm privileged to announce to you that I have been selected as a crew member to fly aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor*1 that is planned to be launched next year. I appreciate all the encouragement and cooperation so many people have given me to make this possible.

I will devote myself to mission training and do my best to meet your expectations. I'd like to thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding of space development.


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I applied to become an astronaut because I always wanted to go to space since I was a little child, when I used to love transportation and watching such animated TV programs as "SPACE CRUISER YAMATO" and "THUNDERBIRDS." I was a freshman in high school when I saw the Space Shuttle launched for the first time, and I conceived the idea of having a career in space to make my dream come true. I had the feeling that the time had come for ordinary engineers and scientists to have wider access to space. Since then, I have always chosen something related to space when choosing my college and work.

In 1995, NASDA*2 accepted mission specialist candidates. I wished to take an active role in the International Space Station (ISS) someday, so I applied for it, and luckily, I was selected and am here today.

The Space Shuttle mission I am participating in is an ISS Utilization and Logistics Flight.*3 The ISS assembly started with the launch of its first module, Zarya, in 1998. Since then, various modules have been launched, and it has accommodated the first and the second*4 expedition crews. Approximately two years*5 from now, the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo," which we are now developing, will be launched and connected to the ISS for utilization in space. Kibo is currently in the final phase of development and fabrication in facilities around Japan. One of its experiment modules has been delivered to NASDA Tsukuba Space Center and has entered its final test phase.

Japanese astronauts have been contributing in the development of Kibo in many ways. Please extend to Kibo the same support and encouragement you have been giving us until it is launched and fully activated to fulfill its mission.

The following changes have been made since this report was written in April 2001.

  1. The Space Shuttle Endeavor had been replaced with Atlantis, which has now been replaced with Discovery for modification.
  2. The name of the agency has been changed from the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
  3. The flight has been changed to a Logistics Flight, due to the Columbia Accident in February 2003, which made STS-114 the first return to flight mission.
  4. As of June 2004, the ISS has accommodated nine expedition crews.
  5. This message was written in April 2001. Two years have now passed, and the launch date has not been decided (as of June 2004).


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