Japanese astronaut Furukawa speaks about 6-month-stay at ISS

Japanese astronaut Furukawa Satoshi has shared his experience of living in space for about six months, saying it helped him realize his home is planet Earth.

Furukawa returned on March 12, ending his mission at the International Space Station, where he'd been since last August.

Furukawa and his fellow crewmembers on the mission gave a news conference at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday.

Furukawa told reporters that when he was asked where his home is before the spaceflight, he had thought it was Japan or Houston. But he said after a couple of months in space, he simply thought of his home as planet Earth.

During the mission, he conducted experiments to prepare for future missions to the Moon and Mars. He spoke about a piece of research into gravity's impact on cells. He said the results could be applied to muscular atrophy and bone loss, not only in space, but also to similar pathologies on the ground. He said that would be a great benefit.

Furukawa was also asked about his advice to Japan's two new astronaut candidates. He said he would like to brief them about his precious experience at the space station. He added that he hopes doing so would help them in their own missions.