Mamoru Mohri est un astronaute japonais.
Scientifique, spécialiste de la fusion nucléaire et du plasma, il est sélectionné dans le premier groupe d'astronautes japonais du NASDA (aujourd'hui JAXA) en 1985.
Il vole lors de 2 missions spatiales avec la navette (STS-47 en 1992 et STS-99 en 2000).
Il a été le premier Directeur du Bureau des Astronautes de la NASDA (1992-1996).
Il est aujourd'hui le Directeur du Miraikan (National Museum of emerging Science and Technology) à Tokyo.
Interview réalisée en 2011
Q : How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight ?
A : I was selected in 1985 as an astronaut for Japan, and my first space flight was in 1992.
The Challenge disaster put all space shuttle activity on hold, so I was connected to the space program for 7 years prior to his first flight.
Q : How did you feel prior to the flight ?
A : It was a childhood dream for me to go to space.
However, I first became a scientist and then, once selected as an astronaut, I was eager to see the sun through the vacuum of space.
I wanted to see the real vision of a star. Plus, I was very curious to see how things responded to micro-gravity, such as my body, materials, and how experiments would be conducted.
Q : What kinds of sensations did you experienced during take-off ?
A : During take-off, I could not wait to get to space.
I was so excited that I was yelling "go! go! go!" in my mind as they took off.
Q : What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
A : Weightlessness is delightfully comfortable and relaxing, something like floating in a warm hot springs bath.
During the flight I was extremely focused on successfully completing my tasks and my missions and bringing back useful, informative results.
Q : What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fixed them ?
A : On the very first day our crew encountered a very serious problem.
It was a leak in the coolant water lube system.
The crew, meaning the flight crew and the ground crew together, always work together as a team dedicated to finding solutions, and that is how we fixed the problem within the first day.
Q : What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
A : I was lucky in that he was able to introduce some Japanese food to my crew mates and they loved the Japanese curry.
In fact, I was told it is the favorite food of the International Space Station, too.
All the food was tasty and certainly real.
Q : What was re-entry like ?
A : Re-entry was fascinating.
First to re-experience the Earth's gravity was pleasingly uncomfortable.
Then when the hatch opened and a rush of fresh air entered, I could breath and smell life.
I also remembered someone giving me a glass of fresh water, and that was the most delicious water I had ever tasted.
Q : Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
A : I was relieved to be back on Earth knowing that my mission was considered a success.
In addition, I was very happy to come back to the only place we know in the universe that can support life : our planet Earth.