November 22, 2011

Minister’s remarks on the Soyuz (27S) capsule landing attended by Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa


  1. I am delighted to hear that the Soyuz capsule landed safely in Kazakhstan on November 22 (Japan time).
  2. Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, the assistant captain of the spacecraft, helped in piloting the Soyuz. After completing a long mission of approximately five months onboard the International Space Station, Furukawa has set a new record for the longest time a Japanese astronaut has spent in space on a single mission.
  3. 3.  During his extensive mission, using his expertise as a medical practitioner, Furukawa conducted various medical space experiments in Japan’s experiment facility Kibo, such as monitoring heartbeat and brainwave data from both on-the-ground and from space. He also conducted scientific experiments on creating protein crystals which will eventually tie to creating new medicines. He furthermore, exchanged communications with children in the Tohoku region who are suffering from the aftermaths of the March 11th earthquake.
  4. It is my hope that Japanese astronauts will continue to participate in cultivating the value and generating maximal possibilities from the International Space Station.


November 22, 2011
Masaharu Nakagawa
Minister of MEXT

(Research and Development Bureau, Space Development and Utilization Division)