Press Release


Astronaut Takuya Onishi Selected
as Member of ISS Expedition Crew

November 29, 2013 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that Astronaut Takuya Onishi has been selected as a crewmember for the 48th/49th Expedition Mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Astronaut Onishi 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 been continuously maintaining and improving his qualities as an ISS astronaut through various training such as the 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 15) conducted at the underwater laboratory in the United States.
For Astronaut Onishi, 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 2016
Transportation and from to the ISS:
Launch and return by Soyuz spacecraft
Major tasks at the ISS:
During the 48th/49th Expedition Mission, he will be in charge of ISS operations as a flight engineer, and science experiments using the space environment.
Astronaut Onishi's schedule in the near future:
He will begin training necessary for the Soyuz trip and ISS expedition missions in December 2013.
Attached reference:
Brief Personal History of Astronaut Takuya Onishi
JAXA's Astronauts onboard the ISS
JAXA President's Statement
Determination to Become Expedition Crew by Takuya Onishi
Reference Link:
International Space Station / Kibo website:

Brief Personal History of Astronaut Takuya Onishi

Takuya Onishi

JAXA Astronaut
37 years old (as of November 29, 2013)

1975 Born in Tokyo, Japan
March 1998 Bachelor's degree from the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo
April 1998 Joined All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA)
June 2003 Worked as a co-pilot of Boeing 767 in ANA's Flight Crew Center
February 2009 Selected as an ISS Astronaut candidate by JAXA
April 2009 Joined JAXA
April 2009 Participated in basic training for ISS Astronaut Candidate
September 2010 Participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) conducted in Utah, USA
July 2011 Completion of the above Astronaut candidate Training
July 2011 Certified as an ISS Astronaut
October 2011 Participated in the NEEMO 15 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.

ISS Onboard Plan of JAXA Astronauts (As of Nov, 29, 2013)

JAXA President's Comment on the Selection of JAXA Astronaut
as a Member of the ISS Expedition Crew

November 29, 2013

It is my great pleasure and privilege to announce that Astronaut Takuya Onishi has been assigned as the sixth Japanese astronaut to stay at the International Space Station (ISS) for a prolonged period of time.

Astronaut Onishi was selected as an ISS astronaut candidate in February 2009, and has undergone various training to acquire the necessary skills for an ISS expedition astronaut. In case of an emergency where the Soyuz commander has problems, Astronaut Onishi would take the place of the commander to pilot the Soyuz vehicle. I believe that the decision this time stems from the international reliance on Astronaut Onishi’s skills as well as our steady operations of the “Kibo,” ISS’s Japanese experiment module and “KOUNOTORI,” the cargo transporter to the ISS.

Through continued ISS expedition missions by Japanese astronauts, we would like to accumulate our achievements in manned space activities and collect diversified technology and knowledge in view of future missions such as international manned space exploration. We would also like to stimulate the intellectual curiosity of younger generations who will shoulder the future through Japanese astronauts’ activities, and generate more results that are beneficial for society.

I would like to express my profound appreciation to all people and parties concerned in the selection this time.

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Determination to Become Expedition Crew by Takuya Onishi

November 29, 2013

I have been assigned as a member of the ISS 48th/49th Expedition Crew. First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who have supported me both professionally and personally and have also supported JAXA’s activities.

I was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2009 and qualified as a JAXA astronaut in 2011. Until now, my efforts have focused on the realization of an ISS long-duration flight. I am very happy to have reached this big milestone on the road to the ISS, and at the same time, I feel energized thinking about the training which waits for me in the future.

I have had several opportunities to work on real-time ISS operations for the past year, and that has been a great learning experience for me. Also, I have been getting much thought-provoking advice from other Japanese astronauts such as Koichi Wakata who is currently onboard the ISS. With these background experiences, I will continue to devote myself to training so that I can carry out my missions to make the best use of the ISS, which is the largest space facility in the history of humankind as well as a platform for scientific experiments.

In March, Koichi Wakata is going to be the first Japanese ISS commander. I think this tells us that all the activities which have been conducted by Japanese astronauts as well as our country's efforts at manned space programs have come to fruition.
During my missions, I would like to tell children about the wonders of the universe in various ways so that they can feel closer to the universe because I believe that knowledge and technology exist in people and should be passed on to the next generation to continue our quest in space into the future.

I would appreciate having your continued support for my upcoming missions.
Takuya Onishi
JAXA Astronaut