Press Release


Astronaut Wakata Starts the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition Mission

November 7, 2013 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) by the Soyuz spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M), has begun his long-duration stay as the 38th and 39th expedition crew member. He will remain onboard the ISS for about six months until returning to the ground on the Soyuz spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M) in May 2013.

Docking Date/Time:

November 7, 2013 19:27 (JST)
November 7, 2013 14:27 (Moscow Standard Time)

Hatch Open Date/Time:

November 7, 2013 21:44 (JST)
November 7, 2013 16:44 (Moscow Standard Time)

Reference links for further information:

Comment by JAXA President
Astronaut Wakata Commences his Long-Duration Stay on the ISS
(After the hatch opening)

The Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 13:14, November 7, 2013, has succeeded in docking to the ISS at 19:27 today. Now Japanese Astronaut Wakata's 6-month on-orbit stay has begun. This will be his forth space flight including his Space Shuttle missions, and the second long-duration stay on the ISS.

In the middle of next March, Astronaut Wakata will be the first Japanese who is installed as the ISS Commander, and he conducts the six crews of Increment 39. The Commander Wakata takes the full responsibility for the on-orbit activities and the crews' safety. In addition, Wakata is expected to engage in various experimental operations, such as deploying the small satellites brought by "KOUNOTORI 4" (HTV4) last August, and docking/releasing "Dragon" and "Cygnus" as the "Specialist of the RMS".
I strongly believe that he will demonstrate his ability built by the series of the hard trainings. Also as the ISS Commander, he will accomplish the duties on the ISS and "KIBO" with the fellow astronauts of the US and Russia.

I sincerely express my deep thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), all other domestic and overseas organizations, and all the individuals for their efforts and support to us. I hope you will continue cooperating with us.

Thank you.

November 7, 2013

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)