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To UWCSEA and Beyond! – All things space with Akihiko Hoshide '87

By UWCSEA Alumni Team
13 November 2021

Ground control to Commander Aki! On Saturday, 30 October, a select group of students from UWCSEA Dover and East Campus had an out-of-this-world opportunity to connect with alumnus astronaut Akihiko Hoshide '87 through a secured video link call from the International Space Station.

UWCSEA Alumni Aki from Space

Students watching the video call with Aki from East Campus

Aki, who served as commander of the International Space Station (ISS) from April to October, spent over an hour with the group starting with a breathtaking view of planet Earth from his viewpoint before giving students an exclusive tour of the ISS. The former National Committee Japanese scholar then took his time, patiently answering questions from excited students that ranged from queries about daily life aboard the ISS to which strengths and values developed as a UWCSEA student have served him best.

His responses were interesting and thoughtful including this piece of inspirational advice for the students:

"You guys are the next generation that will go to the moon and Mars. Make mistakes, learn from them and keep working hard."

UWCSEA Dover students watching the video call from IDEAS Hub

UWCSEA Dover students watching the video call from IDEAS Hub

Due to a gap in satellite connectivity, the call ended just as Aki was about to share the first thing he would do on his return to Earth. While Aki's response was cut off, he doesn't have long to wait for his earthly desire. Aki and his crewmates safely returned to Earth early this week after spending nearly 200 days in space. Aki will celebrate his 35th milestone anniversary at UWCSEA's Alumni Reunion 2022 and we are keeping our fingers crossed that he makes it back to Singapore to celebrate with his classmates.

This isn't the first contact UWCSEA has had with our student in space, Aki has come down in person in May 2016 and connected with students from space back in 2012. Check out some of the throwback photos of Aki's previous visits below:

Aki in UWCSEA Dover

 Aki in UWCSEA Dover in the past

Aki at UWCSEA Dover Infant School