Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that Astronaut Koichi Wakata has been selected as a crewmember for the 38th/39th Expedition Mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Astronaut Wakata stayed at the ISS for about four months in 2009, and, after returning to Earth, he has been engaged in the ISS operations as the chief of ISS Operations Branch in NASA and also as the manager of the JAXA Astronaut Group, while he has been continuing his astronaut training.
Astronaut Wakata's leadership has been highly appraised and recognized domestically and internationally, thus he will exercise his capability as the first Japanese commander for the 39th ISS Expedition Mission.
|1963||Born in city of Saitama (then city of Omiya), Saitama, Japan|
|1987||Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Kyushu University|
|1989||Master of Science degree in applied mechanics from Kyushu University|
|April 1992||Selected as an astronaut candidate|
|August 1992||Started astronaut candidate training.|
|August 1993||Certified as an astronaut.|
|Jan. 11 thru 20, 1996||Flew on the STS-72 Endeavour mission as the first Japanese Mission Specialist (MS) during which Astronaut Wakata retrieved the Japanese Space Flyer Unit (launched by H-II Launch Vehicle in March 1995).|
|Oct. 12 thru 25, 2000||Flew on the STS-92 Discovery mission as an MS during which Astronaut Wakata was in charge of manipulating the robotic arm (SRMS) for assembling the ISS.|
|2004||Doctorate in aerospace engineering from Kyushu University.|
|July 22 thru 28, 2006||Commander for the 10th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius underwater laboratory.|
|March thru July 2009||Flight engineer and person in charge of JAXA scientific experiments for the 18th/19th ISS Expedition Mission; also an MS for the STS-119 and STS127 missions. He also performed orbit flight by Soyuz TMA-14.|
|July 2009||Attached the Kibo’s Exposed Facility for the 2J/A(STS-127) to complete the Kibo assembly and completed his stay in space of about four months.|
|March 2010||Assumed the post of the chief of ISS Operations Branch in NASA|
|April 2010||Assigned as the manager of the JAXA Astronaut Group|
February 17, 2011
It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to introduce Astronaut Koichi Wakata to you as a Japanese astronaut to be assigned to stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for a prolonged period. This is the fifth assignment for the Japanese astronaut to reside at the ISS.
Astronaut Wakata was the first Japanese astronaut to stay at the ISS for an expedition mission. He successfully achieved his manned space activities of about four and half months during which he contributed to completing the assembly of Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the ISS in July 2008. His achievements were highly praised and recognized domestically and internationally, thus he was assigned as the chief of ISS Operations Branch in NASA after he returned to the Earth as his leadership exhibited during his expedition was highly evaluated.
Astronaut Wakata will be the first Japanese ISS commander, and I firmly believe that he will fulfill such an important role based on his abundant experience and trustworthiness.
I would like to express my profound appreciation to all people and parties concerned in the selection this time.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency