July 8, 2008

Japanese Astronaut to Leave for Space Mission 12 February 09

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Washington, July 7 Kyodo - Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata will travel on the US space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station on his third space mission Feb. 12 next year, NASA said Monday.

After his three-month mission, Wakata, 44, will return to earth on another US space shuttle, the Endeavour, which will be launched May 15 with components of Japan's "Kibo" space laboratory, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

Wakata's third space mission will follow ones in 1996 and 2000.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0129 8 Jul 08.

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