He calls me "Jordan-san" (Mr. Joke). I call him "Kyo", at least, that's what I call him "today". Although we had few face-to-face meetings, I was always in communication with Professor Kuriki by phone and fax. My file of fax correspondences fills two file cabinet drawers. But the more interesting communications always occurred over the phone.
The 10-hour time zone change between Houston and Sagamihara required Prof. Kuriki to call me at my home to talk to me during his working hours. Sometimes he would call me at the beginning of his work day to talk with me before I went to bed. Then, later the same day in Sagamihara, Prof. Ninomiya would call me just after I had awakened. Then, Mr. Furuhata of USEF might call what Professor's Kuriki and Ninomiya had talked to me about. That only happened a few times, where all three would talk tome within about a 14-hour period. I wondered if they thought I had trouble understanding their English.
On one occasion, I did have trouble understanding what Prof. Kuriki was trying to call me. In fact, I never understood what our conversation was about. I had been asleep perhaps 1 hour, just long enough to enter into the "Alpha-state" of sleep. The phone rang, but I never heard it, so my wife, Lisa, answered the phone. It was Kyo wanting to talk some business. Lisa tried to hand the phone to me, telling me "Kyo is on the phone." What she said and what I heard were different. I heard "There is an insurance salesman calling." I told her we did not need any insurance, and I did not want to talk to him. She had to shake me to wake me into consciousness.
Kyo talked to me for about 30 minutes. I have no idea what he said. I'm sure that it was important, but I was too embarrassed the next day to send him a fax asking what he had said. Maybe I promised with him something. I do not know. I hoped that he would send me a follow-on fax, or perhaps Mr. Furuhata would contact me, but I never received any more correspondence on the mystery call. I did notice, however, that his telephone calls started coming earlier in the evening.
One of the keys to our success in the SFU retrieval mission was the good communications between us. I was honored that Professors Kuriki and Ninomiya, and many others in the SFU program felt comfortable in contacting me personally anytime they need to. For a some time, my life was filled with the purpose of the SFU mission. It will be difficult for me to find a more rewarding duty for my future. Perhaps SFU-2?
Se-n ro wa tsu zu ku..yo....
( William T. Jordan, Payload Manager, NASA JSC )
編集部註：「線路は続くよどこまでも〜♪」はテキサス州立大学応援歌「 The Eyes of Texas 」でもあり，ＳＦＵの国際歌としてしばしば歌われた。