When Koichi Wakata was five years old,Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
He dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
Twenty-seven years later,he made his first trip into space.

 Every time I go into space,I descover my love for the earth.
I have been in space on the International Space Station (ISS) three times.
It goes around the earth 400 kilometers above us.
It takes 90 minites to fly around the earth.
For 45 minites you see the day view,
and then in the next 45 minites you see the night view.
It is very dark at night.
The stars are shining,and the Milky Way stretches on and on.
Our blue planet Earth looks like an oasis in the vastness of space.
 You can see images of the earth from space on TV and computers.
But those images are very different from the real view of the earth from space.
You can clearly see the oceans,the clouds,the mountains,and the rivers.
You can even identify Japan by it shape.
I feel so lucky to have a beautiful home planet. (184)

 Astronauts from different countries eat together every day.
That gives us the chance to enjoy many different space foods,but eating without the help of gravity is a problem.
When you eat senbei,you must be careful because it flies evetywhere.
When you eat soup,you must use a straw.
 In space,you cannot take a bath; you simply wipe your body with a cloth.
You sleep in your own room,but it is very small.
All in all,life in space is very comfortable.
 We are very busy with scientific experiments.
However,we also have time for some other experiments.
I tried arm wrestling with a Canadian astronaut.
To our surprise,both our bodies started to spin around.
In another experiment,I tried writing with a brush.
I used too much ink,but it didn't drip.
My favorite experiment was the "magic carpet".
I put tape on my feet to stick to a carpet.
It worked like a magic.
I was flying in space! (164)

In 2013,I was on the ISS for my third time.
I was asked to be the commender of the ISS.
As commender,my job was to see that we all lived in peace.
There were astronauts from America,Russia,and Latvia.
There was also Kirobo,the Japanese-speaking robot.
We all had to work together,talk together,and live in a very crowded space for 188 days.
I had only one rule-we had to have dinner together as much as possible.
It was an important time to feel relaxed and to talk about the day's work and training.
 One final word.Going into space is a frightening experience.
There are many dangers.
You may wonder why I go into space.
I do it because it is a challenge and because it is important for humanity.
Astronauts from around the world are working together.
Though this experience,I have come to believe in our common humanity as citizens of the earth.
Remember that each one of us is a crew member of Spaceship Earth. (174)

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