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

July 9, 2016 (JST)

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

Astronaut Takuya Onishi, who arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) by the Soyuz spacecraft (47S/MS-01), has begun his long-duration stay as the 48th and 49th expedition crew member. He will remain onboard the ISS for about four months until returning to the ground on the Soyuz spacecraft (47S/MS-01) in Oct 2016.

Docking Date/Time: at 1:06 p.m. on July 9 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time)
at 7:06 a.m. on July 9 (Sat.), 2016 (Moscow Time)
Hatch Open Date/Time: at 3:53 p.m. on July 9 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time)
at 9:53 a.m. on July 9 (Sat.), 2016 (Moscow Time)

Reference link for further information:

Comments by JAXA President as
Astronaut Takuya Onishi Commences his Long-Duration Mission on the ISS

Today, the Soyuz Spacecraft (47S/TMA-17M) successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS,) and Astronaut Takuya Onishi begins his first long stay there.

Astronaut Onishi was selected as a Japanese ISS astronaut candidate along with Astronauts Yui and Kanai. They are new-generation astronauts chosen after operation of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” started. Astronaut Onishi took over the baton passed by Astronaut Yui, who was assigned to the 48th and 49th ISS expeditions in 2013 and completed his long stay mission. Therefore, I believe Astronaut Onishi will surely accomplish tasks including some Japan-unique missions by inheriting our firm technology and presence that have been accumulated through past projects.

During his ISS expedition, Astronaut Onishi will join Japan’s first long-term rodent rearing mission. Through rodent research on aging-like phenomena, JAXA will contribute to the Japanese government’s science and technology innovation policy, which includes maintaining a healthy society with longevity. He will also fulfill a high-quality protein crystal growth experiment leading to the expansion of the private sector's use of Kibo. I have high expectations that his activities will bear excellent achievements in the use of Kibo.

I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS, all other domestic and overseas organizations, and all individuals for their cooperation and support. Your continued support will also be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
July 9, 2016

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)