JAXA Certifies Three New ISS Astronauts

JAXA PR — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has been providing basic training to be certified as an astronaut for the International Space Station (ISS) to astronaut candidates Kimiya Yui, and Takuya Ohnishi since April 2009, and also to astronaut candidate Norishige Kanai since September 2009. The three candidates have completed all their basic training requirements, thus they were certified as ISS astronauts on July 25, 2011.

The three will further participate in training to improve their knowledge and techniques as astronauts mainly at the NASA Johnson Space Center as well as in Japan and other countries.

  • Basic training aims at acquiring basic knowledge and techniques necessary for ISS onboard astronauts. The training shall be provided by the country that selected the astronaut candidates, and it is based on the training program agreed among the space agencies of ISS participating countries (Japan, the U.S., Canada, European countries and Russia.)
  • Training subjects are: 1) training to acquire knowledge on spacecraft systems, the ISS system, basic engineering, and basic science; 2) training to acquire techniques to operate the ISS system, to conduct extravehicular activities, and to maneuver a robotic arm; 3) training to acquire basic skills and behavior as an astronaut including piloting an aircraft and survival training; 4) improving English and Russian language skills.

Biographies of Astronauts Yui, Ohnishi, and Kanai

Kimiya Yui

1970Born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan
March 1992Graduated from Graduate School of Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan
April 1992Joined Japan Air Self Defense Force, Ministry of Defense (then Defense Agency)
Dec. 2008-Worked at the Air Staff Office, Japan Air Self Defense Force
Feb. 2009Selected as an ISS astronaut candidate by JAXA along with Takuya Ohnishi
March 2009Quit the Ministry of Defense
April 2009Joined JAXA
April 2009Participated in ISS onboard astronaut basic training
July 2011Completed the training
July 2011Certified as an ISS onboard astronaut

Takuya Ohnishi

1975Born in Tokyo, Japan
March 1998Bachelor’s degree from Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
April 1998Joined All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd
June 2003 –Worked at the Flight Crew Center of All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
Feb. 2009Selected as an ISS astronaut candidate by JAXA along with Kimiya Yui
March 2009?Quit All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd.
April 2009Joined JAXA
April 2009Participated in ISS onboard astronaut basic training
July 2011Completed the training
July 2011Certified as an ISS onboard astronaut

Norishige Kanai

1976Born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan
March 2002Graduated from National Defense Medical College
April 2002 –Worked at National Defense Medical College Hospital, Japan Self Defense Force Ohminato Hospital and Japan Self Defense Force Hospital Kure, etc.
June 2009 –Worked at Medical Service Division, 1st Service School, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
Sept. 2009Selected as an ISS astronaut candidate by JAXA
Sept. 2009Quid the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
Sept. 2009Joined JAXA
Sept. 2009Participated in ISS onboard astronaut basic training
July 2011Completed the training
July 2011Certified as an ISS onboard astronaut