Japanese astronaut Hoshide Akihiko has expressed expectations for space development programs by the private sector, after his return to Earth from the International Space Station.
Hoshide spoke to reporters online on Monday from the Johnson Space Center in the southern US state of Texas. It was his first news conference since his return.
Hoshide talked about scientific experiments he conducted during his stay on the ISS. He said an experiment to study the impact of zero gravity on the sense of time was very interesting.
He also said he started to feel "this whole fun trip" was coming to an end about two weeks before he left the ISS.
Hoshide described flying on a spacecraft developed by the private sector as "a great milestone and a path to commercialization." He added that more and more people will enjoy the environment in space.
He said private businesses can bring their own ideas and create new cultures, and that this has definitely opened a new door to space.
Hoshide arrived at the ISS in April aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft developed by private US firm SpaceX. He returned to Earth this month aboard the same craft, after spending more than six months on the ISS.