Astronaut Wakata to head for ISS in fall of 2022

Japanese astronaut Wakata Koichi will head to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon in the autumn of 2022.

Science and technology minister Suematsu Shinsuke told reporters on Tuesday that Wakata is expected to stay long-term on the ISS.

Suematsu said Wakata's skills are highly valued. He added that the mission demonstrates the international trust that Japan has gained through the steady operations of its spacelab Kibo and cargo spacecraft Kounotori.

The minister said he hopes Wakata will produce excellent results.