Becoming an astronaut is a dream for many, but it requires years of training and rigorous preparation. However, doing a spacewalk is even more difficult. And if you add in nearly 16 years between spacewalks, it seems almost impossible. Well, Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese aeronautical engineer is a legend in the history of space travel for having achieved this feat.
The walker in space
Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Soichi Noguchi has beaten 572 participants. His first space flight took place on July 26, 2005 as a mission specialist for JAXA, the Japanese aerospace agency. It was also the first space shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster.
A prestigious achievement
Soichi also had the honor of reviving the construction of the International Space Station by replacing a device that controls its position. Later, he was part of the resident crew of the space station from December 2009 to June 2010. In 2021, Noguchi was back in space, approaching his 56th birthday by participating in the SpaceX Crew-1 mission, the first operational flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Last spacewalk of astronaut Soichi Noguchi
It is during this mission that he brilliantly succeeded his last spacewalk, almost 16 years after the first one, with a duration of almost 7 hours. In total, there were four spacewalks during his career.
A model employee
“The longest gap between spacewalks means that he maintains the highest skills over a long period of time, as well as good health to be assigned to a spacewalk,” said the Japanese astronaut, who has earned recognition from the European Space Agency and the Guinness World Record. Soichi retired from JAXA on June 1, 2022, but is currently a representative of MiraiSpace Co. Finally, he was honored by taking over the management of CupNoodles Museum one year later.