Tag Archives: Japanese astronaut

Astronauts touch down on Kazakhstan Steppe

Three astronauts touched down in the dark, chilly expanses of central Kazakhstan onboard a Soyuz capsule Monday after a 125-day stay at the International Space Station.

NASA’s Sunita Williams, Russian astronaut Yury Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan’s JAXA space agency landed at 07:56 a.m. local time (0156 GMT) northeast of the town of Arkalyk.

Eight helicopters rushed search-and-recovery crew to assist the crew, whose capsule did not parachute onto the exact planned touchdown site due to a minimal delay in procedures.

Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide undocked from the space station Sunday at 1023 GMT to begin their return to earth.

Around 28 minutes before touchdown, the three modules of the Soyuz craft separated, leaving the 2.1-meter tall capsule to begin its entry into orbit.

A series of parachutes deployed to bring the capsule to gentle floating speed.

Winds pulled the descent module on its side in the snowy terrain, which is a common occurrence, but the crew was nonetheless swiftly hoisted out by the recovery crew and lifted onto reclining chairs and swaddled in blankets to shield them from the 12 Fahrenheit degree (-11 Celsius degree) temperature.


Soichi Noguchi Bound for the International Space Station

A Japanese astronaut left for the International Space Station Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan as a crew member of Russia’s Soyuz space capsule.

Soichi Noguchi, 44, will stay at the ISS for about five months through next May in his second space trip following one in 2005 as a crew member of the U.S. space shuttle Discovery.

He is the second Japanese astronaut to become a Soyuz crew member after Toyohiro Akiyama, 67, was carried into space to report from the capsule for Tokyo Broadcasting System Television in 1990.

Source: AP