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Casual Conversations with Ex-ISS Commander Dr.Koichi Wakata

After downing a few glass of horrible beer at this year's PNST Symposium, I looked around to see what Dr. Koichi Wakata, an engineer and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut, was up to. The veteran astronaut, who has clocked in a whopping 11 months in space while being only the third non-American, non-Russian to command the International Space Station (ISS), was surprisingly on his own. All I had to do now was to summon the slightly drunk Gurkhali courage to walk up to him and start a casual conversation. And that's what I did. Here's arephrased manuscript of what I think the exchange looked like:

Q. When you hear the word Nepal, what's the first thing that pops up in your head?
Dr. Wakata: Lovely country, always wanted to visit but never had the chance to. In fact, when I was a student at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, I used to frequent a restaurant/pub owned by a Nepalese. Had great food. The best part is that I…

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