- Dec. 11, 2015 (23:55) [release]
- Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M) with Astronaut Kimiya Yui aboard
- Aug. 26, 2015 (21:20) [release]
- Astronaut Norishige Kanai Selected as Member of ISS Expedition Crew
About JAXA's Astronauts
It has been over 20 years since Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese Astronaut, flew to space on the Space Shuttle in September 1992.
JAXA astronauts have been contributing to the ISS project through assembly work of the ISS and the Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module, and have accumulated experience and knowledge. By utilizing these skills, the astronauts mainly perform the following tasks while they stay at the ISS.
Experiments and research
Space experiments utilizing the environment that is different from Earth such as microgravity and high vacuum.
Operation and maintenance of ISS and Kibo
Maintaining the ISS systems including those for electricity, communications, environment control, and experiment support. Repairing and maintaining the ISS.
Robotic arm operation
Using the ISS and Kibo robotic arms, installation, exchange and repair of experiment instruments and test materials are conducted. The arms are also used for capturing rendezvous and berth type spacecrafts such as the KOUNOTORI and Cygnus.
Extravehicular activities (with space suit on)
To carry out some repair and maintenance work on the ISS as well as experiments that cannot be conducted by a robotic arm.
How to Become an Astronaut
Selection of Astronaut Candidates
Needless to say, astronauts need to have expert knowledge of science and technology. In addition, they are required to be fluent in English, in order to communicate with astronauts from different countries who live and work with them. Astronauts have been selected based on the screening of application documents; a series of written exams on the English language, general and specialized knowledge of natural science, interviews, and medical and psychological examinations.
Training of Astronaut
After being selected, astronaut candidates undergo Basic Training. They obtain basic knowledge and technical skills in space engineering, space science, space medicine, the Space Shuttle and ISS systems, the English and Russian languages. They also receive flight training and physical training. Upon completion of Basic Training, they are officially certified as astronauts and receive more advanced training in the operation of spacecraft systems and experimental equipment, as well as training to work in space. They also continue with language instruction, flight training, and physical training.
Summary of Japan-related missions and flight results
|TMA-17M/43S||Astronaut Yui to fly Expedition 44/45||7/23 - 12/11/2015|
|TMA-11M/37S||Astronaut Wakana to fly Expedition 38/39||11/7/2013 - 5/14/2014|
|TMA-05M(31S)||Astronaut Hoshide to fly Expedition 32/33||7/15 - 11/19/2012|
|TMA-02M(27S)||Astronaut Furukawa to fly Expedition 28/29||6/8 - 11/22/2011|
|STS-131||Astronaut Yamazaki, ISS Assembly Flight 19A to fly STS-131||4/5 - 4/20/2010|
|TMA-17(21S)||Astronaut Noguchi, Expedition 22/23, by Soyuz (21S/TMA-17)||12/21/2009 - 6/2/2010|
|STS-127(2J/A)||Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 2J/A, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||7/16 - 7/31/2009|
|STS-119||Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 15A, by Space Shuttle Discovery (Expedition 18/19/20)||3/16 - 3/26/2009|
|STS-124(1J)||Astronaut Hoshide, ISS Assembly Flight 1J, by Space Shuttle Discovery||6/1 - 6/15/2008|
|STS-123(1J/A)||Astronaut Doi, ISS Assembly Flight 1J/A, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||3/11 - 3/27/2008|
|STS-114||Astronaut Noguchi, ISS Assembly Flight LF1, by Space Shuttle Discovery||7/26 - 8/9/2005|
|STS-92||Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 3A, by Space Shuttle Discovery||10/12 - 10/25/2000|
|STS-99||Astronaut Mohri, Second Shuttle Flight, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||2/12 - 2/23/2000|
|STS-95||Astronaut Mukai, Second Shuttle Flight, by Space Shuttle Discovery||10/30 - 11/8/1998|
|STS-87||Astronaut Doi, Japan's First EVA, by Space Shuttle Columbia||11/20 - 12/5/1997|
|STS-72||Astronaut Wakata, First Mission Specialist of Japan, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||1/11 - 1/20/1996|
|STS-65||Astronaut Mukai, Second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2), by Space Shuttle Columbia||7/9 - 7/23/1994|
|STS-47||Astronaut Mohri, Fuwatto '92 (First Material Processing Test/FMPT), by Space Shuttle Endeavour||9/12 - 9/20/1992|
|*||July, 2015 Updated|
- July 23, 2012
- Showing a Bright Future from Space
- March 30, 2011
- A Doctor Looks Forward to Working in Space
- Nov. 20, 2009
- First Extended Stay in Space by a Japanese Astronaut
- Jul. 11, 2008
- Moving Toward a New Era of Manned Space Activities
- July 5, 2005
- Supporting the Return-to-flight