Japan Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa Wishes to ‘Pass the Baton’; Also Expresses Desire to Help Japanese Astronauts Still on ISS

Courtesy of JAXA/NASA
Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa in the International Space Station

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa shared his aspirations on Wednesday after returning to Earth from a long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) last month.

“I want to share my experience with other astronauts and pass the baton to them,” the eldest acting Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut said at an online press conference.

During his second stay in space, 60-year-old Furukawa was there for 199 days from August to March working on various tasks including a proof of concept for water recycling technology.

“I have come to realize that the private sector is making progress in space development and preparations for manned lunar exploration,” he said.

Furukawa is currently staying at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration facility in the U.S. for rehabilitation and has reportedly recovered his sense of gravity.

Astronauts Kimiya Yui, 54, and Takuya Onishi, 48, are scheduled to leave for the ISS sometime in 2025.

“I want to help their mission to go smoothly first,” Furukawa said.