KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The most experienced astronaut launching on Crew-1 isn't from the United States. That honor goes to Japan's Soichi Noguchi, who will make his third flight to space.
What You Need To Know
- Soichi Noguchi is a part of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency
- He has rolled the first sushi in space; it happened 10 years ago
- Get more detailed information about the Crew-1 mission here
- Profile stories of each astronaut of the Crew-1 mission:
- Get more space coverage here
"My wife and three kids were very lucky to observe two launches, one from Florida and the other from Bikanori," said Noguchi, "and this time I invited them and hopefully they enjoy the beautiful night launch."
Noguchi — along with Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins — will kick off the first operational flight on SpaceX's Crew Dragon on Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center.
Noguchi is a part of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. He flew on the return to flight launch following the Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Now he's hoping to bring that experience to his crew mates preparing for the launch on this new SpaceX vehicle.
"The thing I'm conveying, the message to our crew is to be diligent and don't over estimate, don't be complacent," Noguchi told Spectrum News. "We have to ask the right question at the right time to make sure the space vehicle is safe enough."
As serious as he takes this mission, Noguchi is known for his sense of humor. He even rolled the first sushi in space during his last stay at the ISS a decade ago.
cake time! pic.twitter.com/nSvTs8xO02— NOGUCHI, Soichi 野口 聡－（のぐち そういち） (@Astro_Soichi) October 8, 2020
That personality comes through on Twitter, where he shows off his pumpkin carving techniques, barbecuing skills and training with his fellow astronauts.
"Camaraderie is very important, actually (Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and I) had the luxury to spend one week in the wilderness for survival training," he said. 'So we know each other pretty well in the wilderness and camping. And that plays huge dividends so that we know how each other behaves under stressful condition.
Noguchi admits, it will be stressful. But the time in space will be worth it.
"Separation from family is tough, but I promise them I will return home with lots of fun story," he said.
Noguchi has nicknames for his crew mates, calling Hopkins "Hopper" and Glover "Ike". Ike by the way, stands for "I know everything," an inside joke about the first-time astronaut.