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Monday, 7th December 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese astronaut to spend Christmas in space

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi is unlikely to see snow this Christmas, as he will be in space on the big day.

The space explorer is due to launch on December 21st at 06:51 Japan Standard Time.

Messages of encouragement are now being welcomed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The astronaut is to serve as a crew member on the 22nd and 23rd expeditions to take place on the International Space Station.

In all, he is expected to spend around six months at the facility before returning to Earth.

Japan recently celebrated a record-breaking time for a full-sky X-ray scan.

The success was announced by JAXA in late November, having scanned the entire sky faster than any previous scan on record.

JAXA added that it hoped that, in the future, a full scan could be performed as frequently as once per month in order to create an image of the sky with the Milky Way at its centre.

Written by Susan Ballion