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June 1, 2011
Astronaut candidate Koichi Wakata prepares to jump off a box during a parachute landing demonstration at Vance Air Force Base. This portion of the training is designed to familiarize the trainees with the proper way to hit the ground following a parachute jump. Looking on are astronaut candidates Michael L. Gernhardt (left) and Andrew W. S. Thomas (second left), along with a United States Air Force (USAF) instructor. Wakata, representing Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA), is one of seven international mission specialist candidates who joined 19 United States astronaut candidates, including Gernhardt and Thomas, for the three-day parachute/survival training school at the Oklahoma Base. EDITORS NOTE: Since this photograph was taken, Gernhardt, Wakata and Thomas have been named as mission specialists for the STS-69, STS-72 and STS-77 missions, respectively. `

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