Soichi Noguchi (野口 聡一 Noguchi Sōichi, born 15 April 1965 in Yokohama, Japan) is a Japanese aeronautical engineer and JAXA astronaut. His first spaceflight was as a Mission Specialist aboard STS-114 on 26 July 2005 for NASA's first "return to flight" Space Shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster. He was most recently in space as part of the Soyuz TMA-17 crew and Expedition 22 to the International Space Station (ISS), returning to Earth on 2 June 2010. He is the fifth Japanese astronaut to fly in space and the fourth to fly on the space shuttle.
STS-114 was the first "Return to Flight" Space Shuttle mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Discovery launched at 10:39 EDT (14:39 UTC), 26 July 2005. The launch, 907 days (approx. 29 months) after the loss of Columbia, was approved despite unresolved fuel sensor anomalies in the external tank that had prevented the shuttle from launching on 13 July, its originally scheduled date.Low Earth Orbit
Soyuz TMA-17 begins Expedition 22 by carrying 3 astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station. Russian Commander, cosmonaut Oleg Kotov alongside Flight Engineers, Timothy Creamer (NASA) & Soichi Noguchi (JAXA) will launch aboard the Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and then rendezvous with the station. It landed on June 2, 2010, 03:25 UTCLow 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.