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Tuesday, 11th November 2008
In General Japan News,

Yamazaki to be second Japanese woman in space

Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, 37, is due to become the second Japanese woman to go into space, it has been announced.

She is scheduled to take off on the US space shuttle Atlantis in 2010 and will also become the seventh Japanese person to explore space.

Ms Yamazaki told a press conference: "I am honored to be involved in the completion of the station. I would like my mission to be a success," she told a press conference.

"My next ambition is to stay for an extended period on the ISS and afterwards, if Japan aims for the moon, I would also like to be a success."

Oddly, she said she was inspired to become an astronaut after watching the Challenger shuttle explode on live TV in 1986. All seven astronauts were killed in the accident.

Astronauts Koichi Wakata and Soichi Noguchi have also been selected to go into space.