Noguchi hands sash to Hoshide on ISS mission

NHK -- Apr 27
Noguchi Soichi, an astronaut preparing to leave the International Space Station for a return to Earth, has handed the baton over to fellow Japanese Hoshide Akihiko, who arrived there days ago with three other astronauts.

What was actually handed over was a type of sash used by long-distance relay runners in Japan, much like the baton in relay races.

Noguchi told reporters from space that he is happy the handover was conducted between Japanese astronauts.

Hoshide, who is set to become the second Japanese to serve as the ISS commander, said experiments that will be beneficial to people on Earth will go into full swing.

He said he feels a strong sense of responsibility as the incoming commander. He said he will do his best, together with other experienced crew members.

Hoshide described his trip to the ISS aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon as "smooth." He said he believes that there will be no problem with the spacecraft being used for space travel by ordinary citizens.

Hoshide said he and his fellow astronauts enjoyed the trip, which brought them to the space station on Saturday. He said it's like playing at an amusement park.

It is the first time since 2010 that two Japanese astronauts have been together on the ISS. Noguchi was once there with Yamazaki Naoko 11 years ago.

Hoshide will take the helm of the ISS on Wednesday. Noguchi is scheduled to return to Earth the following day. - NHK

国際宇宙ステーションに同時滞在中の宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)の星出彰彦飛行士(52)と野口聡一飛行士(56)が26日、そろって記者会見し、日本のメディアの取材に応じた。野口さんは会見の冒頭で、星出さんに赤いたすきを手渡し「(地球周回)軌道上で、日本人同士で引き継ぎができることがとてもうれしい」と話した。 - Kyodo