Spacecraft Carrying Japan's Hoshide Docks with ISS

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, April 24 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. spacecraft carrying four astronauts, including Japan's Akihiko Hoshide, on a long-term mission, docked with the International Space Station around 6:10 p.m. Saturday Japan time (9:10 a.m. GMT).

The hatch opened around 8:05 p.m. Hoshide, 52, and the other three moved into the ISS about 30 minutes later and reunited with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, 56, and others, who have been on the ISS since November last year. Hoshide and Noguchi hugged each other and rejoiced over the former's safe arrival at the space station.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. state of Florida on Friday afternoon Japan time. The spacecraft and the rocket were developed by U.S. company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX.

It is the second time for multiple Japanese astronauts to stay on the ISS at the same time. In the first such case, Noguchi and Naoko Yamazaki, 50, spent time together on the ISS in April 2010. It is the first time for Japanese astronauts on long-term missions to stay together on the space station.

This is Hoshide's first ISS mission since 2012, when he was also on a long-term mission.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press