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Astronaut Wakata enjoys life in zero gravity on ISS

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wakata answers questions during an online press conference aboard the ISS in this image taken from the livestream on Friday.

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, said that he is “adjusting naturally” to the zero gravity environment as he begins his long stay on the International Space Station (ISS) during an online press conference held aboard the ISS on Friday night. Regarding his first stay in space since 2014, Wakata said with a smile, “My body remembers the zero gravity environment as if it were yesterday.”

Wakata arrived at the ISS on Oct. 7 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that he used for the first time. “Everything went smoothly from launch to docking [to the ISS]. The Crew Dragon operations were simple, and I was able to get a good rest onboard,” Wakata said when comparing the U.S. space shuttle and Russian Soyuz capsule, both on which he has flown before. “It is a sophisticated system.”

Wakata plans to stay aboard the ISS for about six months to conduct experiments for future lunar exploration. He expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “A long stay on the ISS is like running a marathon. I want to do my best on this long mission, taking care of my physical and mental health and cooperating with the ground crew.”