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Monday, 19th November 2012
In General Japan News,

Astronaut Hoshide lands safely in Kazakhstan

Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, along with two other crew members have safely returned to earth and landed in Kazakhstan, toughing down at 07:56 local time on November 19th.

Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the flight engineer Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Russian Soyuz commander Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency undocked their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft from the space station at 16:26 local time and landed north of Arkalyk.

The trio arrived at the station July 17th 2012 and spent 127 days in space, 125 of which were on board the station. This was the first pre-dawn landing in darkness for a station crew since April 9th 2006.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) president, Keiji Tachikawa, made the announcement and stated that the organisation was "delighted" with the safe arrival.

"It gives me immense pride to report that he was fully able to reap the fruits of rigorous training and complete the mission as planned on the ISS," said the president.

Astronaut Hoshide's long-term stay on the ISS marked the fourth mission of this type in Japan's history, following astronaut Furukawa who completed the third mission, explained Tachikawa.

Hoshide completed "great" collaborative work in connecting the H-II Transfer Vehicle "Kounotori 3" to the ISS and in performing extravehicular activity.

According to NASA, the three astronauts travelled 54,090,628 miles and orbited earth 2,032 times.

Throughout their mission, Williams and Hoshide carried out three spacewalks to mend an ammonia leak on a station radiator and replace a part that transmits power from the space station's solar panels to its systems, stated the firm.

Hoshide holds the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a JAXA astronaut at 21 hours and 23 minutes.

His four month mission, stated the president of JAXA, signifies momentous progress toward Japan's future manned space activities while showing the important role of the ISS as a place for amassing manned space technology of Japan.

Posted by Graham McPherson