Japanese astronaut to go to ISS in 2021

Japan's space agency says astronaut Hoshide Akihiko will go on a mission at the International Space Station next year.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said on Tuesday that Hoshide will head to the ISS on the second flight of the US spacecraft Crew Dragon in spring of 2021.

Hoshide is set to become the second Japanese to take command of the ISS after Wakata Koichi, who assumed the role in 2014. Hoshide was supposed to head to the ISS on board a Russian spacecraft in May, but his mission was postponed.

The upcoming mission would be Hoshide's third at the ISS. He traveled to the station on the US space shuttle in 2008, and on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft in 2012.

The Crew Dragon was developed by US firm SpaceX. The craft, carrying two US astronauts, successfully docked with the ISS on its final test flight.

Japanese astronaut Noguchi Soichi is to board the Crew Dragon on the first flight of its operational phase in August.