Connect with us

Space

First Japanese commander takes over International Space Station

Avatar

Published

 on

L-R: wearing traditional Kazakh costumes US astronaut Michael Hopkins sits together with Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, as they attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, on March 11, 2014 (Pool/AFP, Vasily Maximov)

[caption id="attachment_81250" align="aligncenter" width="512"]L-R: wearing traditional Kazakh costumes US astronaut Michael Hopkins sits together with Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, as they attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, on March 11, 2014 (Pool/AFP, Vasily Maximov) L-R: wearing traditional Kazakh costumes US astronaut Michael Hopkins sits together with Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, as they attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, on March 11, 2014 (Pool/AFP, Vasily Maximov)[/caption]

 

The International Space Center is getting even more international soon with its first Japanese commander.Koichi Wakata is the man, an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. took over the helm on Sunday, March 9. A brief ceremony aboard the space center ushered in the commanding era of the Japanese flight engineer who got to the space station last November.

Wakata, 50, joined the Japanese astronaut program in 1992. He was that nation's third astronaut in orbit when he flew in 1996. Wakata said he was very humbled to take command of the space center. He added that it was an honor for Japan to be a space center program partner.

This is the 39th expedition crew to work on the space center. Wakata replaces Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov who commanded Expedition 38. Kotov spent more than 160 days in orbit. He returned to Earth on Monday, March 10 on a Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft along with fellow cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky and NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins.

Wakata commands a crew including NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Russian Federal Space Agency's Mikhail Tyurin. They're scheduled to be joined March 25 by Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson.

Command aboard the space center typically has alternated between Russian and American astronauts since permanent operation in 2000. Only Frank DeWynne from Belgium and the European Space Agency in 2009 and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency in 2013 have broken that command monopoly until Wakata's takeover.

Sean is a London (Ontario) based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2005, covering Canadian topics and world issues. Since 2009, Sean has been the lead editor for eCanadaNow. Prior to his work writing and editing for the eCanadaNow, he worked as a freelancer for several Canadian newspapers.. You can contact Sean at {Sean at ecanadanow.com] Google

Space

NASA Releases Spectacular Solar Flare Video

Avatar

Published

 on

NASA Releases Spectacular Solar Flare Video
Continue Reading

Advertiser Disclosure: ECanadaNow is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with accurate information. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed.