Japanese astronaut Wakata to be captain of Int'l Space Station

21:52, February 17, 2011      

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Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata will be the first Japanese astronaut to serve as a commander of the International Space Station (ISS) during his stay from the end of 2013, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said here on Thursday.

Wakata, 47, will stay at the ISS for six months. During the first four months, he will be in charge of ISS operations as flight engineer, science experiments and system operations. For the last two months, he will be the commander in addition to the above duties, according to the agency.

It will be Wakata's fourth space mission. He stayed at the ISS in 2009 following his space shuttle missions in 1996 and 2000.

The Japanese astronaut has been known for his skill at handling robotic arms in outer space.New York Fashion Week: Elie Tahari
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