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Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M) with Astronaut Kimiya Yui aboard

December 11, 2015 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Soyuz spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M) has safely returned to Earth with astronaut Kimiya Yui aboard who completed his long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

Landing Date/Time: approximately 22:12, December 11 2015 (JST)
approximately 19:12, December 11 2015 (Kazakhstan Time)
Landing Location: Republic of Kazakhstan
Crewmembers: Oleg Kononenko (FSA)
Kjell Lindgren (NASA)
Kimiya Yui (JAXA)

Note 1: The 44th and 45th expedition crews (Astronauts Kononenko, Lindgren,
and Yui) stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for 142 days.
Reference links for further information:

Comments by JAXA President
on Return of the Soyuz Spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M)
with Astronaut Yui aboard

Today, I am delighted to announce that Astronaut Kimiya Yui, who completed his long-duration stay on the International Space Station (ISS), has successfully landed in the Republic of Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz spacecraft (43S/TMA-17M).

Astronaut Yui’s expedition on the ISS was a very important mission for the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, to maximize its achievements. Astronaut Yui engaged in various scientific experiments and tackled technological development themes including high quality protein crystallization research, which is Japan’s field of expertise, life science, material and physical science, and space medicine, while constructing the new experiment environment such as setting up the Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU). In addition, he displayed the high level of Japan’s space technology by playing an important role of manipulating the robotic arm for capturing and detaching the ISS cargo transporter “KOUNOTORI5” and steadily operating the KOUNOTORI.

The ISS celebrated its15th anniversary on Nov. 2. During those years, seven Japanese Astronauts including Astronaut Yui stayed on the ISS, and we are proud to say that the total days in space is the third highest in the world following Russia and the United States. JAXA will utilize our experience of space stays in the development of space experiment methods and instruments at the Kibo for further improving manned space technology for the future while doing our best to link the achievements gained from the Kibo operation to Japanese society. Your continued support will be very much appreciated.

I sincerely express my profound gratitude to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency, all other domestic and overseas organizations, and all individuals for their efforts and support for Astronaut Yui’s mission.

Thank you.

December 11, 2015
Naoki Okumura
National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)