Press Release


JAXA Selects Additional Astronaut Candidate
for ISS Crewmember

September 8, 2009 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has decided to hire another astronaut candidate who is on the list of back-up candidates.
He will join Yui Kimiya and Takuya Onishi, who were hired in April this year, in training together. The three will take part in the astronaut candidate training course over two years and will be certified as astronauts upon completion of the training. When assigned to a mission, the assigned astronaut will receive mission specific training and stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to operate / maintain the ISS, including the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, and conduct various space experiments.

1. Selected Astronaut:
Mr. Norishige Kanai, M.D.
2. Schedule:
- September 12, 2009: Joins JAXA.
- After entering JAXA, he will take part in orientation sessions in Japan, then will participate in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut candidate training course for two years to acquire science and engineering knowledge as well as to gain familiarity with the ISS and Kibo systems, which is required for astronauts. After completing the astronaut candidate training course, he will be certified as a JAXA astronaut based on a training result evaluation.

Attachment-1 Brief biography of the candidate


Brief Biography of the Astronaut Candidate

Current occupation:

Brief personal history:
Norishige Kanai
32 years old (born in December, 1976)
Medical Service Division, 1st Service School,
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
(Lieutenant, Diving Medical Officer)
Chiba Prefecture, Japan
March 2002: Graduated from National Defense Medical College
After graduation: Worked at National Defense Medical College Hospital, Japan Self Defense Force Ohminato Hospital and Japan Self Defense Force Hospital Kure
June 2009: Current position