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KANAI Norishige

JAXA Astronaut



KANAI Norishige Today

Currently involved in the operation and control of Kibo as J-COM (controller of correspondence with astronauts), while providing mission and mission preparation support to Japanese astronauts.


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KANAI Norishige was born in Tokyo in 1976, and stayed in space for 168 days between December 2017 and June 2018 as a Flight Engineer of Expeditions 54 and 55. In addition to various experimental activities under the mission theme “Discovering clues about health longevity in space”, he also performed an extravehicular activity and captured the SpX-14 Dragon spacecraft using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), Canadian Arm2.

JAXA Astronaut Kanai

Born in Tokyo, Japan. Raised in Chiba Prefecture.

March, 2002

Graduated from National Defense Medical College.

April, 2002

Worked as a physician and a Diving Medical Officer in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, stationed at National Defense Medical College Hospital (Saitama), Japan Self Defense Force Ohminato Hospital (Aomori), Japan Self Defense Force Hospital Kure (Hiroshima), and the 1st Service School of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (Hiroshima).

September, 2009

Selected as an astronaut candidate by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Joined JAXA.
Commenced basic training at Johnson Space Center, Houston, with NASA astronaut candidates which includes scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction on ISS systems, Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), robotics, and flight training using the T-38 jet trainer.

July, 2011

Completed all basic training requirements, and certified as an ISS astronaut.

August, 2015

Assigned as a flight engineer for ISS Expeditions 54 and 55.

December, 2017-June, 2018

Spent 168 days in space as a flight engineer aboard the ISS on Expeditions 54 and 55.
Carried out various experiments for both JAXA and international partners, under the mission theme “Discovering clues about health longevity in space,” as well as Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) and the capture of the SpX-14 Dragon cargo spacecraft by maneuvering the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS).


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