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The Space Shuttle and Japan’s Manned Space Activities

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down in July 2011, the space shuttle program was over. After 30 years and 135 missions, NASA, the United States’ space agency, retired the last of its manned spacecraft. 
The first Japanese astronaut to fly on the Space Shuttle was Mamoru Mouri, in 1992. Six others followed: Chiaki Mukai, Koichi Wakata, Takao Doi, Soichi Noguchi, Akihiko Hoshide and Naoko Yamazaki. Japanese astronauts accumulated vast experience and helped lay the foundations for our work in space, by conducting experiments and assembling Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station. Japanese astronauts flew on a total of 13 shuttle missions, learning a great deal about being astronauts. Here we look at the role that the Space Shuttle has played in the growth of Japan’s manned space program, and peer into the program’s future.

 Japanese Creates World-Class Technology for Manned Experiments in Space Masato Koyama Special Director, Space Environment Utilization Center, JAXA Human Space System and Utilization Mission Directorate FULL STORY

Kibo: The Focal Point of Japan’s Manned Space Program Tetsuro Yokoyama International Space Station Program Manager, JAXA FULL STORY

Leadership Expectations for Japanese Astronauts Takao Yamaguchi Manager, Human Space Technology and Astronauts Department, Human Space Systems and Utilization Mission Directorate, JAXA FULL STORY

The Space Shuttle helped me grow as an astronaut Koichi Wakata JAXA Astronaut FULL STORY

Trajectory of Shuttle Missions with Japanese Crew Members FULL STORY