Chiaki Mukai (向井 千秋 Mukai Chiaki, born May 6, 1952, Tatebayashi, Gunma, Japan) is a Japanese doctor and JAXA astronaut. She was the first Japanese woman in space, and was the first Japanese citizen to have two spaceflights. Both were Space Shuttle missions; her first was STS-65 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1994, which was a Spacelab mission. Her second spaceflight was STS-95 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. In total she has spent 23 days in space.
STS-95 was a Space Shuttle mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 29 October 1998, using the orbiter Discovery. It was the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981. It was a highly publicized mission due to former Project Mercury astronaut and United States Senator John H. Glenn, Jr.'s return to space for his second space flight. At age 77, Glenn became the oldest person, to date, to go into space. This mission is also noted for inaugurating ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the U.S., with live coast-to-coast coverage of the launch. In another first, Pedro Duque became the first Spaniard in space.Low Earth Orbit
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan's national aero-space agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on 1 October 2003. JAXA is responsible for research, technology development and the launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in many more advanced missions, such as asteroid exploration and possible manned exploration of the Moon. JAXA launch their Epsilon vehicle from the Uchinoura Space Center and their H-II vehicles from the Tanegashima Space Center.