Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to leave JAXA
16:07 JST, May 26, 2022
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi announced Wednesday that he will leave the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 1.
At a press conference in Tokyo on the same day, the seasoned 57-year-old astronaut stated his intention to make way for the next generation of astronauts and focus on work at research institutes and such.
Regarding the possibility of going into space again as space travel opportunities become more accessible for private citizens, Noguchi said with a smile, “It’s about 50-50.”
As for the reason why he chose to retire from JAXA, Noguchi said, “I made the decision to make way for junior astronauts waiting to board and prospective astronauts for whom the selection process has begun.”
Noguchi’s activities have already expanded, including serving as a project professor at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.
“I hope I can help train the next generation of astronauts,” he said. “I also want to share my experience with organizations and companies taking aim at space.”
Noguchi was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1996 and has gone into space three times. He was the first Japanese astronaut to board the new U.S. commercial spacecraft Crew Dragon during a round trip to the International Space Station (ISS) from 2020 to 2021. Noguchi stayed on the ISS for a total of 335 days, 17 hours and 56 minutes, the longest stay recorded by a Japanese astronaut. He is the fifth astronaut to leave JAXA, bringing the total number of JAXA astronauts to six after his departure.
"SOCIETY" POPULAR ARTICLE
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan, Finland confirm unity in dealing with Russia
- Mangaka Fujiko Fujio A dies at 88
- China’s aircraft carrier drills near Japan aimed at around-the-clock attack capability
- As wheat prices soar, Japanese food industry pushes rice flour as alternative
- Fukushima lab releases images of ‘highly likely’ UFOs