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Astronaut Yui Starts the International Space Station (ISS)
Expedition Mission

July 23, 2015 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Astronaut Kimiya Yui, who arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) by the Soyuz spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M), has begun his long-duration stay as the 44th and 45th expedition crew member. He will remain onboard the ISS for about five months until returning to the ground on the Soyuz spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M) in December 2015.

Docking Date/Time: 11:45 a.m. on July 23 2015 (JST)
05:45 a.m. on July 23 2015 (Moscow Standard Time)
Hatch Open Date/Time: 01:56 p.m. on July 23 2015 (JST)
07:56 a.m. on July 23 2015 (Moscow Standard Time)

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Comment by JAXA President
Astronaut Yui Commences his Long-Duration Mission on the ISS

With the successful launch of the Soyuz Spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M) from Baikonur at 6:02 a.m. and the docking of the vehicle at 11:45 a.m. on 23 July, 2015, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui has started his five-month expedition on the ISS.

Astronaut Yui was selected as an ISS astronaut in 2009, and was assigned to the 44th/45th ISS long-duration mission crew. He is the first “new-generation” astronaut who was selected after our launch and operation of the Kibo, and, today, I feel that his first flight and stay at the ISS shows that our Kibo utilization has entered a new phase.

During his stay on the ISS, Astronaut Yui will take part in many experiments and research, such as life science, physical science, and space medicne. He is also assigned as the flight engineer, and will play an important role in operating the ISS, such as manipulating the robotic arm. In particular, at the time of the berthing of the HTV-5 which is scheduled in August, he will conduct the vital work of manipulating the robotic arm to capture the HTV with support from Astronaut Wakata who will be on the ground and in charge of communications with the ISS. Please look forward to Astronaut Yui’s performance on the ISS to further advance the Kibo’s operation and activities toward the next step by succeeding and developing the experiences of past Japanese astronauts.

I sincerely express my deep gratitude to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Russian Federal Space Agency, all other domestic and overseas organizations, and all the individuals for their efforts and support. Your continued support will also be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

July 23, 2015

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)