Sci-Tech | Mar 27

Wakata to Retire from JAXA

TOKYO, Mar 27 (News On Japan) - The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that astronaut Koichi Wakata will retire from the agency on March 31.

Selected in 1992 by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), now JAXA, as an astronaut, Wakata has the distinction of being the Japanese astronaut with the most space missions, having spent a total of 504 days in space over five missions. He has participated in a variety of missions during his career.

Wakata has been involved in the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) and the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo". In 2009, he became the first Japanese astronaut to undertake a long-term stay on the ISS. His 2014 mission marked another first for a Japanese astronaut as he served as the ISS commander, leaving behind a legacy of numerous achievements. As of 2023, his active career spanned over 31 years, making him one of the longest-serving astronauts in the world.

From 2022 to the previous year, Wakata embarked on his fifth spaceflight, a record for a Japanese astronaut, spending 155 days on a long-term stay at the ISS. This mission included his first-ever spacewalk. He also conducted experiments in the "Kibo" module aimed at demonstrating water recycling technologies for future manned missions to Mars and the Moon.

Wakata's post-retirement plans and activities will be detailed in a press conference scheduled for March 29 in Tokyo, where he will be present to speak about his experiences and future endeavors.

Source: NTV NEWS


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