Press Release


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

November 19, 2012 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Soyuz spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M) has safely returned to Earth with astronaut Akihiko Hoshide aboard who completed his long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

Landing Date/Time: November 19, 2012 10:56 a.m. (JST)
November 19, 2012 7:56 a.m. (Kazakhstan Time)
Landing Location: Republic of Kazakhstan
Crewmembers: Yuri Malenchenko (FSA)
Sunita Williams (NASA)
Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA)

Note 1: The 32nd and 33rd expedition crews (Astronauts Malenchenko, Williams, and Hoshide) stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for 124 days.

Reference links for further information:

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

Today, I am delighted to announce that Astronaut Hoshide, who completed his long-duration stay on the International Space Station (ISS), has successfully landed aboard the Soyuz spacecraft (31S/TMA-05M) in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

It gives me immense pride to report that he was fully able to reap the fruits of rigorous training and complete the mission as planned on the ISS.

Following Astronaut Furukawa, who completed his mission on the ISS last year, Astronaut Hoshide has successfully completed his four-month mission, which marked the fourth long duration stay of Japanese astronauts on the ISS. His great collaborative work in connecting the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI 3" (HTV3) to the ISS and in conducting extravehicular activity as the first Japanese astronaut during the long-duration stay aboard the ISS represents noteworthy progress toward our future manned space activities, while also amply demonstrating the significant role of the ISS as a venue for accumulating manned space technology of Japan.

Regarding the completed mission of Astronaut Hoshide, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the individuals and domestic and overseas organizations concerned, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), for their tremendous support.

Optimally exploiting this precious experience, we at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will further promote the manned space activity program in future through long duration missions on the ISS by Japanese astronauts, utilization of the Japanese experiment module "KIBO", and cargo transportation by launching the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI" (HTV). Your continued support and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

November 19, 2012

Keiji Tachikawa
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency