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Conversation with Astronaut Soichi Noguchi on Space Shuttle Discovery
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi conversed with Mr. Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut, and Ms. Eileen Collins, the Mission Commander, who are at the International Space Station. Prime Minister Koizumi was joined by Mr. Nariaki Nakayama, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr. Mamoru Mohri, an astronaut, and seven junior high school students from Astronaut Noguchi's hometown, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
Speaking first to Mission Commander Collins, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "I am awed by all the qualities you have: talent, courage, endurance and the sense of mission. You indeed are a superwoman."
Prime Minister Koizumi then asked Astronaut Noguchi, "It goes beyond my imagination that you are traveling at 28,000 kilometers per hour in space. Does it feel like you are traveling that fast?" To this, Astronaut Noguchi responded, "I hardly sensed the speed as I felt as if I was a star rotating slowly with a perfect view of earth."
Mr. Takayuki Mukai, a member of the Young Astronauts Club-Japan (YAC), asked, "I believe you worked hard to become an astronaut but when did you feel that your efforts paid off?" In response, Astronaut Noguchi gave his word of encouragement, saying, "That is when I saw the round earth from the space shuttle. Your efforts in trying to realize your dream never go to waste. I hope that everyone will work hard for their goals as I believe the level of joy and satisfaction you get when your dream comes true is immeasurable."
View Video (Available only in Japanese)