Press Release


Launch of the Soyuz Spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M)
with Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide aboard

July 15, 2012 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA) has launched the Soyuz spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M), which astronaut Akihiko Hoshide is aboard.

Launch Date/Time: July/15/2012 11:40 a.m. (JST)
July/15/2012 8:40 a.m. (Kazakhstan Time)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome (Republic of Kazakhstan.)
Docking Schedule with the International Space Station (ISS):
  July/17/2012 1:50 p.m. (JST)
July/17/2012 8:50 a.m. (Moscow Standard Time)
Crewmembers: Yuri Malenchenko (FSA)
Sunita Williams (NASA)
Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA)

Reference links for further information:

Comment from the President of JAXA
Launch of the Soyuz Spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M)
with Astronaut Hoshide aboard

Today, the Soyuz spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M), with Astronaut Hoshide aboard, was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan and has been placed into orbit as planned. I am really delighted with this successful launch.

I am also convinced that Astronaut Hoshide, who will remain aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for about four months as part of the Expedition 32/33 crew, will fully demonstrate the fruits of his previous training to accomplish his duties.

Only one week after this launch, the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI 3" (HTV3) is scheduled for launch from the Tanegashima Space Center. Astronaut Hoshide will engage in connecting the HTV3 to the ISS. Also, he will conduct various scientific experiments, system maintenance, and extravehicular activity as the first Japanese astronaut during the long-duration stay on the ISS. I believe in his great contribution.

Regarding this long-duration stay of Astronaut Hoshide, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), all other domestic and overseas organizations, and all individuals concerned for their tremendous cooperation and support to date. Your continued support will be greatly appreciated.

I sincerely look forward to his safe return after the successful completion of his mission on the ISS.

July 15, 2012
Keiji Tachikawa
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)