Luck-struck Japanese astronaut more than ready for fall mission to the International Space Station

The Japan Times

Life may offer an unexpected surprise after an epic letdown, but in the case of first-time space voyager Norishige Kanai, it was an out-of-this-world opportunity. As Japan's youngest astronaut, Kanai, 40, is set to undertake a long-duration mission to the International Space Station when he takes off aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft this fall, following his initial heartbreak and nine years of extensive training. Kanai, who was among the 963 applicants for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's astronaut recruitment campaign in 2009, had set aside his dream of traveling to space when he failed the selection test, held only every 10 years or so in Japan, and decided to move on with life. At the time in his seventh year as a Maritime Self-Defense Force doctor responsible for the health of deep-sea divers, Kanai was enjoying his daily lunch break jog at the on-base field when he received a call on his cellphone, which usually signals an emergency. But it was a JAXA officer calling to notify him that he had won a slot as the third and additional astronaut candidate.



JAXA Hiring Volunteers For Simulated Space Station Experiment

International Business Times

Have you ever wanted to contribute to space research but are held back by a lack of adequate scientific knowledge?


Tall tale: Japanese astronaut aboard International Space Station sorry for 'fake news' growth spurt

The Japan Times

A Japanese astronaut has sparked hilarity back on Earth after he claimed to have grown 9 centimeters in space, making him worried he would not squeeze into the capsule home.


The Best Way To Get Taller Is To Move To Space

International Business Times

Most people stop growing at about the age of 20. But a fully grown person can add a bit more height by spending some time in space.