Press Release


Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (27S/TMA-02M)
with Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa aboard

November 22, 2011 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Soyuz spacecraft (27S/TMA-02M) has safely returned to Earth with astronaut Satoshi Furukawa aboard who completed his long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

Landing Date/Time: November 22, 2011 11:26 a.m. (JST)
November 22, 2011 8:26 a.m. (Kazakhstan Time)
Landing Location: Republic of Kazakhstan
Crewmembers: Sergei Volkov (FSA)
Satoshi Furukawa (JAXA)
Michael Fossum (NASA)

Note 1: The 28th and 29th expedition crews (Astronauts Volkov, Furukawa, and Fossum) stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for 165 days.

Reference links for further information:

On the completion of Astronaut Furukawa’s mission

Today, the Soyuz spacecraft (27S/TMA-02M) landed safely on the Kazakh Steppe. I feel great pleasure in announcing its successful and safe return. Astronaut Furukawa’s long duration mission at the ISS was very significant for accumulating operation technologies for manned spacecraft, which will be key to our country’s future manned space activity.

I am very proud that astronaut Furukawa splendidly accomplished his mission at the ISS by performing various space experiments and operating the ISS systems. I believe he has exploited his specialist knowledge as a medical doctor and shown full commitment to take on the harsh training.

I sincerely appreciate the support and cooperation from Japanese citizens and agencies, NASA, FSA and the other international partners who have contributed to the mission’s success.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) must now optimally utilize this valuable experience to advance the nation’s manned space program. This includes the long-duration missions by Japanese astronauts, successful cargo transportation by the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI” (HTV), as well as the operation and utilization of the Japanese experiment module “Kibo”.

I hope for your continued support and our ongoing mutual collaboration.

November 22, 2011

Keiji Tachikawa
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency