New Japanese astronaut to join International Space Station

Written by Adrienne White on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir

Ok so maybe it isn’t the next Apollo mission. But we’re getting close.

The new Japanese astronaut who will arrive on the International Space Station on Tuesday (September 5) will be aboard for three months, beginning on September 11, to conduct experiments and complete his mission in human space flight. His name is Norishige Kanai. He’s the 24th member of the ISS astronaut corps, and one of its newest and most advanced members. He isn’t from Japan, but he’s considered from the Akihabara district in Tokyo, which is a electronics-focused neighborhood.

He’s a “web designer” and was chosen for Japan’s space station mission through a contest in January of this year. He recently appeared on a Japanese documentary titled “Nobody Told Me.” Here’s a bit of background on him that I wrote about in July:

For younger girls, Japan is a land of geishas and kimonos, sushi and geisha culture, beautiful wakudama flower arrangements, high-priced pop music, and bunny robots. But I meet men and women here every day who look remarkably like strangers you have run into on the street. They’re Silicon Valley or financial pros, the featured aeronautics engineers or computer programmers, and they walk around wearing tight jeans and the same ripped T-shirts most everybody else is sporting.

According to CafeMom’s interview with him, he’s like a man on Earth who happened to be picked up in outer space! He says, “I feel like I can just show up and drop the ‘I’m from out of town’ crap! I’m actually Japanese.”

If you’re curious about your own curiosity level about a male astronaut from Japan, a woman, I could not help but wonder if “our next Neil Armstrong” could be our next female astronaut!

Check out more of the International Space Station right here.

More from The Stir:

A Second Woman Transplanted to the International Space Station!

The 20-Year-Old Woman Who’s the Next Long-Distance Space Tourist

Stunning Photos of Earth’s Observation Tower From the International Space Station

Childhood Hints into Science in New Telescope

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