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Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M)
with Astronaut Koichi Wakata aboard

May 14, 2014 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Soyuz spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M) has safely returned to Earth with astronaut Koichi Wakata aboard who completed his long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

Landing Date/Time:
May 14, 2014 10:58 a.m. (JST)
May 14, 2014 7:58 a.m. (Kazakhstan Time)
Landing Location:
Republic of Kazakhstan
Mikhail Tyurin (FSA)
Richard Mastracchio (NASA)
Koichi Wakata (JAXA)

Note: The 38th and 39th expedition crews (Astronauts Tyurin, Mastracchio, and Wakata) stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for 188 days.

Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (37S/TMA-11M)
with Astronaut Wakata aboard

Today, Astronaut Wakata landed safely in the Republic of Kazakhstan on Soyuz spacecraft. I have witnessed that he remained in good condition, even after the long stay on board the ISS.

Having become the 39th ISS Commander on March 9, 2014, he led the on-board operations and utilization activities of the ISS program; driven by the fifteen nations. I am very proud of him having unified other five crew members’ skills with his principle word "和" (Japanese spirit of harmony) and having completed the 39th long-duration stay mission faultlessly.

I sincerely appreciate the continuous support given by Japanese citizens, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), and all related domestic and overseas organizations.

To date, the ISS has been the largest arena of international cooperation on record, and will be widely utilized as an essential “foothold” toward human exploration beyond the low Earth orbit. Wakata’s achievement as the ISS Commander is engraved as the beginning of a new chapter in Japan’s human exploration. Moreover, he has helped establish Japan’s strong and reliable presence as a major space power through a series of experiments in the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and operations involving the “KOUNOTORI” cargo transporter. I hope that this success will become a solid step forward for the second Japanese Commander of the ISS.

We will continue striving to optimally exploit this special experience on our future human exploration plan, and also utilize the outcomes acquired on the ISS and Kibo for the sake of future Japanese prosperity. Thank you very much for your support and effort.

May 14, 2014
Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)