Japanese astronaut Furukawa to stay at ISS for 6 months from August

Japanese astronaut Furukawa Satoshi has announced that he will fly to the International Space Station aboard US civilian spacecraft Crew Dragon as early as August and stay there about six months.

Furukawa met reporters on Monday, where he expressed eagerness to devote himself to carrying out his assignments during his upcoming space mission at the ISS. He also said he feels humbled, but would like to continue to take on new challenges.

In January, he was reprimanded by Japan's space agency JAXA after a research team he led was found tampering with experiment data.

When asked to comment on the issue, Furukawa said the research had been carried out by a large number of people, and he was unable to ensure that all members would maintain a high degree of morale.

He said he would like to make the most of the lessons learned from the experience to move ahead with determination.

Furukawa flew to outer space aboard Russian spacecraft Soyuz in 2011. He is 59 years old and this will be his second space mission.

He will be the fourth Japanese astronaut to board the Crew Dragon for the ISS. Japanese astronauts have boarded the spacecraft heading to the ISS for three years in a row before him.