Press Release


Astronaut Kimiya Yui Selected
as Member of ISS Expedition Crew

October 5, 2012 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that Astronaut Kimiya Yui has been selected as a crewmember for the 44th/45th Expedition Mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Astronaut Yui was selected as an astronaut candidate in February 2009, and then, certified as an ISS astronaut in July 2011 after completion of all basic training requirements.Since then, he has continued to maintain and improve his qualities as an ISS astronaut through various training such as the 16th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 16) conducted at the underwater laboratory in the United States.
For Astronaut Yui, this long duration stay aboard the ISS will be his first space flight.

Period of stay at the ISS:
About 6 months from around June in 2015
Transportation and from to the ISS:
Launch and return by Soyuz spacecraft
Major tasks at the ISS:
During the 44th/45th Expedition Mission, he will be in charge of ISS operations as a flight engineer, and science experiments using the space environment.
Astronaut Yui's schedule in tha near future:
He will begin training necessary for the Soyuz trip and ISS expedition missions in October 2012.
Attached reference:
Brief Personal History of Astronaut Yui
JAXA's Astronauts onboard the ISS
JAXA President's Statement
Determination to Become Expedition Crew by Kimiya Yui
Reference Link:
International Space Station / Kibo website:

Brief Personal History of Astronaut Kimiya Yui

Kimiya Yui

JAXA Astronaut
42 years old (as of October 05, 2012)

1970 Born in Nagano, Japan
March 1992 Bachelor of Science in engineering from the National Defense Academy
April 1992 Entered Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the Defense Agency(current Ministry of Defense)
December 2008 Belonged to Air Staff Office, Ministry of Defense
February 2009 Selected as an ISS Astronaut candidate by JAXA
April 2009 Joined JAXA
April 2009 Participated in basic training for ISS Astronaut Candidate
July 2011 Completion of the above Astronaut candidate Training
July 2011 Certified as an ISS Astronaut
June 2012 Participated in the NEEMO 16 conducted at the underwater laboratory "Aquarius", that is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and located off the coast of Florida in the United States.
September 2012 Participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) conducted in Alaska, USA

ISS Onboard Plan of JAXA Astronauts (As for Oct, 5, 2012)

JAXA President's Statement on the Selection of Astronaut Kimiya Yui
as a member of the ISS Expedition Crew

October 05, 2012
It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to inform you of Kimiya Yui's assignment as a Japanese astronaut to work and stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for a prolonged period. He will be the fifth Japanese astronaut to reside at the ISS.

This time, Astronaut Yui will be the fifth Japanese astronaut who will fly aboard the Soyuz spacecraft following Astronauts Noguchi, Furukawa, Hoshide and Wakata. He will be in charge of ISS system operations including Kibo, Japanese Experiment Module, and various experiments that utilize the space environment on the ISS.

After being selected as an ISS Astronaut Candidate in February 2009, Astronaut Yui has obtained the sufficient proficiency as an ISS expedition crewmember through various training for a relatively short period about three-and-a-half-year to date.

We would like to keep accumulating technology and knowledge by achieving results in the field of manned space activities through continued expeditions at the ISS by Japanese astronauts. Following the achievements of JAXA's predecessor Astronauts, I hope this long duration stay activities will further encourage younger generations who will bear the future, and generate useful results to the society Astronauts.

I would like to express my profound appreciation to all people and parties concerned in the selection this time.
Keiji Tachikawa
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Determination to Become Expedition Crew

I was selected as a flight engineer for the 44th/45th Expedition Missions. It would be a great honor and a great pleasure for me of this assignment. At the same time, I firmly feel the importance of its responsibility.

Currently, Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide has been involved in his long-duration stay on the International Space Station (ISS). He has been in charge of various important system maintenance for the ISS as a flight engineer, such as the operation of HTV3, "Kounotori" missions, and two Extra Vehicular Activities. In addition, lots of activities which would attract the attention from all over the world have been conducted in sequence.
Besides, it is planned Astronaut Wakata will stay and work at the ISS as the first Japanese ISS Commander next year. While the activities by my senior Japanese astronauts have been highly evaluated by the world, I really appreciate this opportunity provided for me.

Since the requisite qualities for astronauts are really high, I have continued to improve the necessary skills to be required for the long-duration stay on the ISS since I joined JAXA about three and a half years ago. Through the training, I have learned that human beings are able to overcome an barrier, and grow up with their efforts at regardless of thier age. As I am sure my missions would require very high proficiency, I would like to gain necessary skills for my missions by the time of my departure to space,? and contribute to the future not only for the Japanese people, but also for all humanity.

In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the people who have been supporting me both directly and indirectly, and who have kindly encouraged me. I would also appreciate your continued support for my missions.

Kimiya Yui
JAXA Astronaut