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Wakata retires from JAXA

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

Wakata was selected as an astronaut by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), now JAXA, in 1992 and 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 . During his career he participated in several missions.

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 an extended stay on the ISS. His 2014 mission was another first for a Japanese astronaut as he served as ISS commander and left behind a legacy of countless achievements. As of 2023, his active career spanned more than 31 years, making him one of the longest-serving astronauts in the world.

From 2022 to last year, Wakata embarked on his fifth space flight, a record for a Japanese astronaut, spending 155 days on 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 at 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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