31 March 2009. Astronaut Wakata Koichi wrote what may be the first poem ever written by a human being in space. Wakata Koichi floated into view on the computer monitor at JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, (counterpart to NASA) at the Tsukuba Space Center. From the International Space Station, called Kibo or Hope in the Japanese language, the scientist/poet held a sheet of paper and wrote something; upon completion, Wakata-san turned the paper to the camera and spoke these words:
Afloat in the darkness before my eyes,
the watery planet bluely glows
How strong is my affection for that ancient home of ours,
how deep my gratitude for the gift of life.
Tomorrow, I will dare the blue sky
and open up worlds unknown
For there we have our dreams.
Wakata Koichi, astronaut, 2009
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Space Poem Chain. http://issjaxa.jp/utiliz/renshi/index_e.html
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