2 more Japan astronauts scheduled for long missions on ISS: minister

Kyodo -- Nov 21
Japanese astronauts Koichi Wakata and Satoshi Furukawa are scheduled for long-term missions on the International Space Station, Japan's science minister Koichi Hagiuda revealed Friday.

Wakata, 57, will begin his stay on the ISS around 2022 and Furukawa, 56, around 2023, he said in a press conference.

"We hope that they will build the future for our country's space development, and give dreams to the people of Japan," he said.

For Wakata, who made his first flight to the ISS aboard a NASA Space Shuttle in 1996, the next mission will be his fifth, while Furukawa's mission to the space station will be his second after his first flight aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2011.

- Kyodo