Japanese Astronaut Wakata Makes 5th Space Flight

Science Society

Tokyo, Oct. 6 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. spacecraft carrying Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and three others was launched for a mission on the International Space Station around 1 a.m. Thursday Japan time (4 p.m. Wednesday GMT).

The Crew Dragon was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. state of Florida. The launch marked Wakata's fifth flight into space and first since 2013.

Some 12 minutes after the launch, the Crew Dragon separated from the rocket and entered the planned orbit. It is scheduled to dock with the ISS around 6 a.m. Friday Japan time.

Wakata's fifth space flight is the most for a Japanese astronaut. He will be staying at the ISS for a long-term mission for the third time, also the most for a Japanese.

"It was a very smooth launch. Thank you for your support," Wakata, 59, said from inside of the spacecraft shortly after entering the orbit.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press